Sunday, July 22, 2012

8 x 10 Tasveer

A forest ranger (Akshay Kumar) with the ability to astral project himself into photographs and witness past events, tries to determine if his wealthy father's death was the result of foul play.

I'm still not entirely sold on Bollywood, but it's next to impossible for me to pass up a thriller with supernatural elements. My current script has something to do with photographs so that piqued my interest as well.

Unfortunately, 8x10 Tasveer fails on a very basic level: nothing's at stake. If Jai can't prove his father was murdered, the story could basically end with a disinterested shrug. There's no sense of urgency. We get a few obligatory action/suspense sequences, but they accomplish very little in terms of raising the stakes. There are some nonsensical restrictions placed on his ability to create tension (if the photograph is destroyed, he'll be trapped inside forever!!), but I wasn't buying it. A good thriller should have a protagonist feeling like he's running out of options, friends/allies. His back should be up against the wall.

When we finally get around to the big reveal, something ripped straight from the big book of soap opera clich├ęs, all you can do is groan. This is right around the time when the acting goes from average to terrible. The attempt to tie his ability and a childhood trauma to present events just doesn't work. I almost wished there were some musical numbers to breath a little life into the story -- almost.

I could chalk this all up to being clueless about Bollywood sensibilities, but audiences didn't care for the film either. It was both a critical and commercial disappointment.

While I was searching for a trailer with English subtitles, I found the entire film on youtube. Have at it, but you were warned!

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