RAJIV'S FIRST NON-MULTI STARRER IS A NON-STARTER
By Pankaj Shukla
'Mission Impossible' is back to Bollywood. This time as Mission Asambhav! Director Rajiv Rai, who almost fled from the country after life threats from the underworld in the wake of his last hit film 'Gupt', has tried to recreate the magic of his creativity seen in his earlier films like 'Yudh' and 'Tridev'. There is a big difference in 'Asambhav' and his last film, as this is his first non-multi starrer film. This was strange to see Monica Bedi (an associate of underworld don Abu Salem) in his last film 'Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat'.
But it is more shocking to see a veteran like Naseeruddin Shah doing a non-soul role in his latest. Maybe Naseer is trying to repay the favors that Rajiv did to him by casting him in 'Tridev' that was the first big commercial success for Naseer. 'Asambhav' has been ready in cans for last three / four months but Rajiv Rai saw some hard days in cracking satisfactory deals to sell this film. Trade was not very positive about a film that has Arjun Rampal, a non-entity as the only hero. Trimurti Films has produced it that was started by Rajiv Rai's father Gulshan Rai. This banner produced ' Deewar'. 'Asambhav' comes at a crucial time and also as a crucial film for Rajiv Rai in his career as director.
Extensively shot at foreign locales of Switzerland, 'Asambhav' is the next among espionage thrillers that saw a comeback in films like 'Hero-Love Story of A Spy' and others. Arjun Rampal plays an undercover Capt. Arya on a mission codenamed Asambhav and his mission is to ensure safe release of a high ranked diplomat (Mohan Agashe) of India and his daughter (Dipanita Sharma who was last seen in '16 December'). A notorious criminal Ansari (Milind Gunaji) with the help of Mabros (a mercenary kind of gang) kidnaps this diplomat to cut a deal of 50 million dollars with a terrorist group known as Al Hamas in return. Al Hamas' head Yuzan (Mukesh Rishi) hires Sam Hans (Naseeruddin Shah) and Brian (Tom Alter).
Both of them take help of Dabral (Arif Zakaria) to generate this money and try to con Alisha (Priyanka Chopra) in the conspiracy. This situation alarms the Indian force that deputes Captain Arya to rescue the diplomat. Alisha meets Arya by chance and they along with official escort enter the den of the dons in disguise. On the other hand, there is a rift among the baddies. Now Sam Hans himself wants the whole money. Before situation gets more serious Capt. Arya strikes and tries to untie all the knots of the crime web. A beautiful lady, some exotic locales and plenty of death-defying fight sequences make core of 'Asambhav' that takes on sex- laden 'Julie' and world- wide record grosser 'Spiderman 2' at the box office this week.
Opening for the film in most of the distribution circuits in India has been below average as expected by the trade from day one. The film itself has no face value as both the main lead stars of the film Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra have no big fan following of their own. Music promos of the film also could not generate much hype and maybe this was one of the reasons that producer-director Rajiv Rai decided to shy away from the media on the eve of the release. The film in totality is not boring. It not only entertains but also makes value for the money, as the labor done by the director is quite visible on the screen. It is only the casting of the film that has gone haywire.
Had there been some more saleable names in the film, it could have generated better business. Rajiv Rai is a good technician and has proved it in all his films. He gets excellent support from his technical crew but emotions don't come with machines. Moreover, this is second time after 'Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat' that Rajiv's film has failed to create any magic on the music scene. Viju Shah is solely responsible for this. Viju Shah has not learnt any lesson from the changing music scenario. His music is still in the same mould as it was in Rajiv's first films. Trance doesn't appeal devoted filmgoers any more, and Viju is not comfortable with melody. So the music is stale and outdated.
'Asambhav' also falters on the acting front. Arjun Rampal as a lead hero is a wrong choice. He does look handsome and physically strong, but when it comes to emote, things get hard for this hero. Arjun seems to have made a point to prove that models (at least male ones) cannot act. Except his action sequences nothing is very impressive. His dialogue delivery is very weak and needs a lot of improvement. Priyanka, on the other hand, tries to look like a glamour doll in the film whereas history has it that people in India do not like heroines in western outfits as they like them wearing ethnic clothes. Aishwarya's transition post-'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' is the recent example. She too is very poor in emotional scenes. It is great to find Naseer in mainstream commercial films. However, roles like this will only harm his credentials; he needs to do more serious roles. Tom Alter is a happy comeback on screen whereas Mukesh Rishi is now becoming typecast in these roles. Where is Salim of 'Sarfarosh' that we saw last? It is going to be a tough time for 'Asambhav' to sail across the rough weather at the box office. The movie will be a loser for most of its distributors and exhibitors all over India, whether in metros or smaller centers.
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