Friday, May 11, 2007
Suspense thrillers are tough to make. And filmmakers need to follow three golden rules to make a thriller work: Cast fine actors... The needle of suspicion should vacillate from one character to another, keeping the viewer guessing till the finale... The suspense should come as a surprise.
Raqeeb, directed by debutante Anurag Singh, holds your interest at crucial points. Even though the story bears a striking resemblance to two films -- Venus/Abbas-Mustan's Humraaz [in turn inspired by A Perfect Murder] and Tips/Ken Ghosh's Fida -- the film in actuality borrows from a different film altogether -- Murder By Natural Causes  -- a lesser known English film. In the original, one of the leads wears a pacemaker. In Raqeeb, he's asthmatic.
Raqeeb is not without its share of deficiencies. Fortunately, the uppers outnumber the downers in this case. The twists in the storyline and the dangerous games indulged by the lead characters make up for the drab moments in the enterprise. In actuality, the film gathers speed minutes before the intermission and the graph only goes upwards as the reels unfold. But here's a direct question to the debutante storyteller: Why didn't you opt for an unconventional end, for that would've been the perfect icing on the cake? Sometimes, evil also wins!
In a nutshell, Raqeeb isn't great cinema. It isn't low on substance either. It floats somewhere in between. Watch it without expectations and you wouldn't be disappointed.
Remo [Rahul Khanna] is the owner of a highly successful software company. Remo's parents had died in a car crash when he was a child. Siddharth [Sharman Joshi] is his employee and probably, only friend. Siddharth is the exact opposite of Remo who is shy, introvert and asthmatic.
Siddharth constantly pesters Remo to socialize so that he can meet a few girls and fall in love with one of them. Remo seems to be averse to the idea until, one day, Siddharth plays a prank and sets Remo up for a blind date.
Remo meets the girl and after a misunderstanding falls in love with her. The girl is Sofie [Tanushree Dutta], a theatre actress. Everything is perfect until Remo and Sofie discover that her parents died in the same car crash in which Remo's parents had been killed. Sofie realizes that Remo's parents were responsible for the death of her parents.
Remo doesn't know how to deal with this tragic discovery. Siddharth persuades him to propose to Sofie. Remo proposes and after the initial hesitation, Sofie accepts. Remo and Sofie get married.
Sunny [Jimmy Shergill] is a struggling actor who is in love with Sofie. But Sofie always desired a luxurious life which Sunny was unable to provide. Hence, Sofie married Remo. When Sunny and Sofie meet again, the old love is rekindled. Thus begins a torrid affair between them.
Tired of having to meet secretly and only occasionally, they plan to kill Remo. The plan is to hide Remo's asthma medicine and then aggravate his asthma so as to trigger an asthma attack. Once the asthma attack occurs, Sunny has to pretend to shoot Remo with fake bullets so as to aggravate his condition further, eventually leading to death. The post mortem will reveal that Remo died of natural causes and hence, no one will be suspected of any foul play.
Analyzing Raqeeb...what worked and what didn't......read on...