Vantage point

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Aankhein again

Yesterday was my second iteration of one of the most under-rated Hindi movies of all time - Aankhein. Nope, I am not talking about the Dharmendra starrer, nor about the Govinda-Chunky crotch-fest.

I am referring to Vipul Shah's film released in 2002, by the same name, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sushmita Sen, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Arjun Rampal. Every few weeks, a "thriller" Hindi movie is released which is either copied, rehashed, predictable or hackneyed. The only thing about the movie which is c, r, p and h is its title. Everything else is a delight.

Like any good movie, this one too has a great story, and a well crafted screenplay to portray it. Aankhein is about a bank robbery by blind men. The plan is masterminded by Vijaysingh Rajput (Bachchan) who used to be the manager of the same bank, but was fired just months before his retirment because he beat up an errant employee. Rajput, who knows the bank like the proverbial back of his hand, seeks revenge by planning a robbery. He comes up with a plan to train blind men for the job.

Sushmita Sen plays Neha, a teacher who specialises in getting blind people to do seemingly impossible tasks. Rajput takes her brother hostage and forces her to enlist and train three blind men for the job - Vishwas (Akshay Kumar), Arjun (Rampal) and Ilyas (Rawal). The rest of the movie deals with the training, the actual robbery attempt, and the twists in the story towards the end.

As I mentioned earlier, the screenplay is crisp, and is supported by able performances. The first time I saw the movie, I kept trying to figure out which Hollywood movie it was "inspired" from. Turns out, the source is actually Indian, as the movie is based on a Gujarati play - Andhalo Paato. The movie did reasonably well at the box office, but wasn'ty a bumper hit, as it deserved to be.

But it is one movie whose VCD/DVD you should have, to remind yourself that Indians can also write good thriller.