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Naqaab - Review

Monday, July 16, 2007
Cast- Bobby Deol, Akshaye Khanna, debutante Urvashi Sharma, Vishal Malhotra, Vikas Kalantri

Directors- Abbas- Mustan


Considered master thrillers in the film industry here, director duo Abbas Mustan's latest Naqaab has been touted as a shocking thriller. Laced with exotic locations, beautifully picturised songs, a good looking cast and some twists and turns, the film is a good package, an honest effort. There are a few minus points but the film can't be called disappointing.

Sophiya (new comer Urvashi Sharma),a lonely girl in Dubai wins over multi millionaire Karan (Bobby Deol) and finds acceptance in his mansion and heart. When Karan proposes, Sophiya accepts and goes out with her friends to celebrate the engagement. Its there that she meets the dashing Vicky (Akshaye Khannna) who is there along with his two side kicks ( Vikas Kalantri and Vishal Malhotra). Sparks between the two fly and in spite of trying ,the engaged Sophiya fails to ward off the charmer. A few clandestine meetings later, the two fall for each other hook, line and sinker. There are a couple of elements thrown in the first half like Urvashi's stalker, her ghosts of the past, hidden cameras recording the activities of the lovers, Akshaye's anonymous calls and Bobby Deol's too benevolent and sugary lover of a character which comes across as deceptive.
The nail of suspicion points towards everybody. In fact there are so many things happening in the first half that it's really hard to comprehend what's going on.

It's towards the second half that the film actually takes off when Sophie spurns Karan on their wedding day at the altar, his supposed 'suicide' and the actual revelation. Here too there are a few loose ends in the screenplay like lack of conviction but it's the climax of the film which sparkles when one comes to know how the love birds staged the perfect act to get rid of their exploiter. This revelation towards the end is something novel which the directors have obviously experimented with. This should appeal to the multiplex audiences but chances are, the masses might not be able to grasp this. The saving grace is the fact that the film is not too long, only about two hours.

As for the performances, Akshaye Khanna is scintillating and is at his natural best. Bobby Deol is good too, though in most parts of the film he plays second fiddle. Junior Deol is no doubt a stylish guy but minus his long unkempt locks he can look even better (wish he had started taking this advice seriously). Urvashi Sharma is unconventionally beautiful and has a great body which she flaunts, sporting everything from a swimsuit to western wear to sarees. She has a flexible body and her dance moves are really nice (especially in the salsa and the Arabian style song). She tries to do well and does look like a Catholic character. But the fact that she has not too many expressions on her face serves as a negative quality considering the fact she is the leading lady of the film. Only if the brilliant Akshaye had given her some more tips! Of the two side kicks, Vishal Malhotra suits his role and Vikas Kalantri tries to do so but unfortunately appears irritating at times. No wonder he could never make it as a leading man in spite of slogging hard. Raj Zutshi doesn't have anything much to do.

The film has been shot well in beautiful foreign locations and also edited well. In fact somewhat of an international feel has been given. The lovemaking scene between Urvashi and Akshaye has been artistically picturised and doesn't look awkward.

The music is melodious but inferior compared to the earlier films of the men in white (including the first Bobby -Akshaye starrer 'Humraaz'). Except for a few points here and there, Naqaab is a not too bad fare after all especially since it has some innovativeness.

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