The Xpose directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan has the star cast of Himesh Reshammiya, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Zoya Afroz and Sonali Raut.
Do you readers even remember when was the last time did we all watch an intelligent and entertaining thriller?
Normally, all they do is line up a slew of stiff cardboard suspects trying to look guiltily into the camera, and pick one of the gallery of eccentrics as the one who did it and impute a silly motive on him.
This story revolves around the Bollywood industry of the 60s. Ravi Kumar, played by Himesh Reshammiya, is an angry ex-cop turned-actor who has been signed up by Bollywood director Subbu Prasad played by Ananth for a film titled 'Ujjwal Nirmal Sheetal'.
Zara is the female lead of that film who tries to seduce him. Ravi, however, is madly in love with newbie Chandni played by Zoya Afroz. The sudden murder of Zara changes the whole scenario and then goes off to whodunit mode!!
Who is the actual murderer? Will the culprit be caught, is the rest of the story without doubt!
Director Ananth Mahadevan is not known to err in his execution of the plot, no matter how trivial it may appear on paper. He goes at the whodunit with a relish that communicates itself to the audience. Set in the film industry during the late 1960s, there is a flouncy flair and glossy aura.
Playing a Southern superstar with an arrogant self-regard that rivals the legendary haughtiness of 'Jaani' Raaj Kumar, Himesh Reshammiya is reborn as an actor. Suprised???
Yes, His piercing icy-cold eyes give away nothing, and everything. He is the man in love... with himself, then with a woman whom he can't bear to see go astray.
Mahadevan recreates the impassive allure of the entertainment industry with his tongue lodged firmly in his chic. You can't miss the broad references to the gossip, scandal and rivalry of the film industry.
Every actor from Nakul Vaid as a matinee idol grappling with suspicion to newcomer Zoya Afroz as a star on the rise struggling to remain virtuous in a world built on artifice, and Sonali Raut as the slutty ambitious star on the rise who sleeps around for a price, is cast well and given a chance to effectuate his or her playing-time with punctuation marks that may not be written in the plot.
Yo Yo Honey Singh makes his Bollywood acting debut. Playing a spoilt, pampered, deceitful music director who marries into money and undeserved inheritance, Yo Yo imparts a certain innocence to his character's duplicity and greed. He isn't the villain but a victim of his unquenchable appetites.
Normally, films set in the entertainment industry end up taking themselves too seriously. The Xpose careens between a mood of gratuitous satire and earnest regret for a world where sham is the name of the scam.
The Xpose is watchable in parts, but fails miserably to build the momentum that a murder mystery needs. Admittedly, some of the razzle-dazzle in the film (for example, the heroine emerging from the sea in a bikini) doesn't belong to the 1960s.
While the second half gets back to the point, Ananth does not have much time to unfold the mystery and that explains the thickened plot and pointless end.
So who said the world of the make-believe had to follow any rules? Yup, there is no business like show business. This whodunit means business.
The only good thing about the film is SURPRISINGLY, Himesh Reshammiya (Awww!!) and nothing else.
If you readers are satisfied with this review why waste your hardearned money? That sums up The Xpose!