Sometimes, big things come in small packages. On face value, Aamir doesn't really look enticing. The director is a first-timer [Rajkumar Gupta], the protagonist [Rajeev Khandelwal] also forays on the big screen with this flick, the film is set in the dingy bylanes of Mumbai, so visually too, it's not alluring.
But this small film has lots to offer!
It would be erroneous to evaluate a film like Aamir from the box-office point of view. If it rakes in money, great. Films like Aamir are more for the discerning audience, for the thinking viewer. It's a film that attacks your mind, rather than your heart. It's a film that pricks your conscience.
Aamir, the name, means leader, but the protagonist [Rajeev Khandelwal] becomes a follower out of fear. The moment Aamir lands in Mumbai, he's transported to a world he never knew: The dingy areas of Mumbai. In its lanes and bylanes, cheap restaurants and lodges, amongst nameless pimps and whores, run-down buildings and over-crowded markets, filth and squalor, Aamir sees a different world in those few hours.
Aamir truly defies the stereotype. It's not a love story. It has no 'heroine'. Nor does the lead man break into songs. Also, it's not filmed at stunning locales of USA or Europe. On the contrary, the film takes you to dingy locations which not many of us must've never ever witnessed. Given the realistic theme of the film, the debutant director has filmed it at realistic locations.
One of the prime reasons why Aamir works, and works big time, is courtesy Rajkumar Gupta's execution of the subject. The twists in the tale don't take the beaten path and Rajkumar's expertise shows while handling this difficult subject. The helplessness of the protagonist has been captured remarkably on celluloid.
Rajkumar gets able support from his cinematographer [excellent], editor [razor sharp editing] and the composer responsible for the background score [topnotch].
Rajeev Khandelwal is remarkable in the title role. The film would've fallen flat had it been entrusted to an inferior actor, but Rajeev lends the right shades and emerges trumps. Watch him emote with his eyes in the latter reels mainly, and you realize that he knows the craft so well. An excellent debut!
On the whole, Aamir is a remarkable film. It may not set the box-office afire, but it succeeds where most films don't -- it hits where it hurts. The message this film sets out to convey comes loud and clear. Very strongly recommended!