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'Aryan': A surprise packet

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By Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Monday, July 03, 2006
More than a decade ago, Sohail Khan was planning to turn director with a script that would star Jeetendra's nephew Abhishek Kapoor in the lead. The project didn't materialize, Sohail made his directorial debut with Auzaar [Salman Khan, Sanjay Kapoor], Abhishek too got launched as an actor by someone else. Now, Sohail and Abhishek team up in different roles: Sohail is the actor, Abhishek the director.

Let's face it: On face value, Aryan isn't a film that generates tremendous curiosity, like one of those biggies around the corner. But the film, starring Sohail Khan in the lead and directed by actor turned director Abhishek Kapoor [Gattu], takes you by complete surprise as the reels unfold.

If the promos of Aryan give an impression that the film is all about boxing, you're partly right. Boxing is an integral part of the storyline, but the film has much more to offer: It's also about the relationship between a husband-wife and the ups and downs in their relationship.

In most cases, you do notice some raw edges when you watch a film directed by a first-timer. But Abhishek Kapoor seems to have done his homework pretty well and the deft handling of the subject matter deserves highest praise. In fact, his handling of the emotional, tense and thrilling moments in the film will leave you spellbound. Without doubt, it's one of the most stylishly shot films, with content to match.

Another highpoint of the film is its penultimate 30-minute climax fight, where the protagonist not only has to crush his opponent in the boxing ring, but by winning the match also earn respect in the eyes of his wife and son. The fight-to-finish boxing sequences are outstanding and a never-seen-before experience on the Hindi screen. Anand Raaj Anand's music and Ranjit Barot's background score are top class.

Aryan gives ample scope to Sohail Khan to portray the gamut of emotions and Salman's youngest brother proves that given an opportunity, he can rise to the occasion. He portrays the three diverse shades in the film -- lover boy, husband and frustrated man -- and his performance stands out all through.

Puneet Issar [excellent], Satish Shah [effective], Supriya Karnik [vicious to the core] and Inder Kumar [menacing to the hilt] compliment the lead characters. Sneha Ullal, who made her debut in LUCKY, shows improvement over her debut performance. Fardeen Khan, in a special role, is first-rate.

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