movie review: aa dekhen zara

Man. I didn’t ever think a movie could get worse with every passing minute for the duration of the movie, but this movie managed to achieve that fine distinction. From beginning to end, the movie was extremely choppy and didn’t make a lot of sense. It started out with Neil Mukesh (Raj) running around in the jungle chasing after someone with a large camera. Once he ran the person into a dead-end, a bunch of blokes with guns emerged and said that you aren’t allowed to take photos in the jungle.

I have no idea what the meaning of this whole sequence was, and it was never answered in the rest of the movie. Apparently the director just needed a way to get rid of Raj’s old camera and thought that a random jungle scene with no meaning or relevance whatsoever would be better than something more straightforward, like forgetting it on a bus somewhere. Perhaps there was a reference or an allusion to something that made more sense, but if there was it went way over my head.

Anyhow, so Raj loses his camera which is pretty devastating considering the camera was about 90% of his net worth (the other 10% going into his delightfully furnished apartment… I guess the interior decorator was an old girlfriend or something). He goes to the small environmental journal that he works to try and get a loan and finds out that his grandfather has died, and has left him behind some sort of boat in his old house. In the boat he finds a key and photograph, the latter being of the location where the key can be used. How Raj has such a photographic memory of Bombay, I don’t know, but he should look into getting work with the Google Maps team. Upon opening the locker that is paired with the key, he finds a backpack with a weird compass-like thing and a camera (oh, what coincidence!). Apparently his grandad was a scientist working on some pretty nifty stuff.

It turns out this camera is super-nifty. It only takes photos of the future. You set the date to the day you want to see and then you snap a photo. And when you go ahead and develop the photo, you will see a photo of the person you snapped on the date you had set, rather than the day you took the photo. Dig? So it’s a camera that travels in time and snaps a photo. Man, that grandfather must have been a pretty smart guy. And pretty imaginative. And also addicted to drugs. Oh well… it’s supposed to be “sci-fi” so we’ll let this major suspension of logic proceed. Being that he is almost in poverty and he has the hots for Bipasha Basu (Simi) who is a DJ and lives in the building across from him and apparently likes eating expensive sandwiches at overpriced coffee shops, Raj decides to use this new possession to make some cash.

So he takes photos of the lottery, of cricket matches, of horse races, etc. Basically anything that he can gamble with. And then he starts rolling in the moolah. Apparently he took an interest to photography at a pretty early stage in life because he develops photos manually in like 10 minutes, something I know cannot be done empirically. Also, he must not have had time for school because anyone with half a brain would have realized that if you’re buying a lottery ticket from the same shop everyday and guessing the combination right and winning everyday, that there are going to be some red flags going up. But no, he does that. He also begins a streak of making money at the horse races. And of course, he never wins. And of course people notice.

To cut to the chase, he then runs away from the police and a random thug, Rahul Dev (Captain), who has been following him to Bangkok. Oh, apparently the cops in Bangkok are even more corrupt than our Indian dudes, although our Indian guy took the cake when he shot all his agents in Thailand so that he could escape with the camera. They run through Bangkok a lot and there’s a lot of gun-shooting and eventually Raj gets shot by Captain and falls into a well. He was apparently supposed to die that day because someone took a photo of him that came out developed as black, which means the person in the photo is going to die (obviously!).

But then, Raj emerges from the well and claims that since the well was so dark, the photo appeared to be black and that it was not actually black. So obviously he survives. And I think the camera took the impact of the bullet so it is destroyed (shame, it could have been used for the benefit of India, according to the movie). So Raj and Simi return to India to roll around in all the cash Raj has won through his “gambling”. And that’s the movie. And if I have decent control of my sarcasm, you would have noticed that I was not extremely impressed. I’ll rate it 1/5 because despite having a piss-poor storyline, the director still had the courage to spend his time and money to make the movie. Bad decision.

Music

The one saving grace of this movie was its music. The title track is a pretty thumping number and a remix of the old Aa Dekhen Zara song. Other honorable mentions are Gazab and Rock the Party. The music is pretty electronic which is probably why I like it. The remix of the title track is all over the radio and MTV and is probably my favourite track on the soundtrack. One funny thing is the picturization of the Gazab song. It took place when Raj and Simi were running away from Captain and the cops and happened into a bar that celebrates cop killers. Instead of continuing running, they decided to stick around and dance with the Thai owners and patrons. Oh well… logic wasn’t a strong point of the movie, was it. Music rating: 3.5/5.

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