Inteha had two aspects to boast about: an outstanding soundtrack and Vikram Bhatt┬┤s rather respectable track record for Hollywood remakes (Kasoor and Raaz). Combined with a cast of under-hyped newcomers and a release clashing with movies like Pinjar and Sssshhh..., Inteha, in retrospect, had nothing going in its favor. Watching this movie with relatively low expectations, one feels rather satisfied with the overall outcome. However, under the required analysis, the movie falters in some key categories, and does not reach the quality of the previously-mentioned Vikram Bhatt products. However, in the areas that it does succeed, Inteha is a definitely a cut above its contemporaries, rendering it a worth-while three hours.
Set in Koti, Inteha tells the story of Nandini (Vidya Mallvade) who leaves everything and moves from Mumbai to take care of her step-sister Tina (Nauheed Cyrusi) after their father┬┤s death. Nandini, being the daughter of the illegitimate wife, is made Tina┬┤s guardian by the promise she made to her dying father, but has no share in her father┬┤s wealth. Nandini is to decide Tina┬┤s life partner, and only then can Tina collect her inheritance. Nandini becomes the over-protective Didi and Tina becomes the subsequently rebellious choti bahen.
Now Ranbir Oberoi (Ashmit Patel) enters Tina┬┤s life as the passionately in love stranger. At first, Nandini accepts the relationship between Ranbir and Tina, but certain events change her mind and she no longer approves of Ranbir in her little sister┬┤s life. This not only causes greater conflict between Nandini and Tina, but it also induces eneminity between Nandini and Ranbir.
The remainder of the film is about Nandini┬┤s struggle to fulfill her duty as a big sister and rid Tina┬┤s life of Ranbir forever. The presense of originality in Inteha is non-existent, as the movie is a remake of the Hollywood hit, Fear. However, in the process of creating a Bollywood aura, the script and screenplay are sacrificed. As the tag-line for the film is "One of them [Vidya, Nauheed, or Ashmit] will die", the suspense is who and how?┬á
The climax is let-down, as it is too reminiscent of a recent hit.┬á┬á
Inteha┬┤s editing could have been crisper, as well. The song "Ab Humse Akele" was completely unnecessary and "Deewana Dil" (as it is, lyrically, the theme song of the movie) needed better picturisation and placement.
Other than those faults, Inteha is, in fact, a very good entertainer. The cinematography by Parvin Bhatt is out of this world and creates a horrific atmosphere, a la Hitchcock. Vikram Bhatt┬┤s direction in many scenes is tremendously praise-worthy. The scene with Vidya in a pit of snakes is not only terrifying, but it has some excellent camera work, showing that Vikram Bhatt is truly a director of high caliber. It would not be wrong to say that, given the script and screenplay, not other director would have been able to deliver such convincing treatment to a rather bland movie.
The sets and locals are extremely posh and picturesque. The homes of Tina and Ranbir are exquisitely designed.
Now the performances! Nauheed Cyrusi is average as the heretic. Her face is quite stiff at times, and she almost looks too young for her role. Character wise, she does not have scope to display histrionics, so she always upstaged.
Ashmit Patel hits the right notes. The role portrayed by him is risky enough for an established actor, let alone a newcomer. Kudos to Ashmit for taking that risk and passing with flying colours!┬á
You must save the best for last. Vidya Mallvade delivers a performance that is so spellbinding, that the audience is left wondering if this is actually her first film! She oozes confidence and poise, conducting her role with ├ęlan (to say the least!). Her dialogue delivery is top notch and she looks like a million bucks. She soars in her action scenes and her acting in the snake pit scene is amazing! After a performance worthy of many award nominations, Vidya comes out as a true actress and deserves the best of roles!
All said and done, Inteha is a good product that should be watched. Its story may not be new to the filmi world, but its treatment is intriguing. Of course, the performance by Vidya Mallvade is THE highlight of the film and is not to be missed.