Director Anees Bazmee seems to have developed a penchant for remaking Hollywood flicks. His last film, Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, was almost a scene for scene rip-off of
French Kiss. Giving away the plot of this thriller is not my intention, but Deewangee is heavily inspired from the Richard Gere, Edward Norton starrer, Primal Fear.
Raj Goel (Akshaye Khanna) is a hot-shot lawyer, famous for never having lost a case and also publicly vocal about his belief in truth and justice. He is so engrossed in his career that he hasnâ€™t yet selected a bride, much to his motherâ€™s (Farida Jalal) dismay. Never fear, Sargam (Urmila) is about to sing and dance her way into Rajâ€™s heart.
Why was Ashwin Mehta murdered? Is Tarang guilty? If youâ€™ve seen Primal Fear, youâ€™ll have a fair idea of where this story is heading. Ajay Devgan takes on the challenging task of essaying a role that garnered Ed Norton an Oscar nomination. Does he succeed? To an extent, but post interval he lapses back into his trademark â€˜three-words-at-a-timeâ€™ pattern of speech. Urmila is fantastic in the song sequences, as expected. However, she is unbearably annoying whenever she has to convey distress or fear, which is most of the time, unfortunately. The pre-interval court case is well handled and some of the secondary character artistes, such as Seema Biswas, Suhasini Mulay and Suresh Oberoi are enjoyable to watch.
The obligatory love triangle woven into the original story is not too much of a hindrance to the enjoyment factor. However, the love triangle gets more attention in the second half when the plot goes haywire (having now abandoned the â€˜Primal Fearâ€™ template). ClichÃ©s are showered on the unsuspecting audience and the action leads to a climax that borrows heavily from John Woo films. I suspect budgetary constraints are responsible for Wooâ€™s trademark white doves being replaced by pigeons, but hey, thatâ€™s probably more realistic for India.
Ismail Darbarâ€™s music is put to good use and combined with Vaibhavi Merchantâ€™s choreography, the songs are a visual and audible treat.
Amar Mohileâ€™s background score is suitably dark and chilling for the more macabre portions of the film, but the more conventional scenes seem to be decorated with stock, formulaic music.
Technically, the film is very good. If only Anees Bazmee had kept a tighter reign on the script in the second half, Deewangee may have been amazing. All in all, Deewangee provides some good entertainment for the weekend, but it wonâ€™t be winning any awards.