Planet Bollywood
Producer: Sunil Chainani and Sameer Shivdasani (Horseshoe Pictures Pvt. Ltd.)
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Starring: Aftab Shivdasani, Amrita Arora, Celina Jaitley, and Sushant Singh
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Thriller
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 09 March 2007
Reviewed by: Akshay Shah  - Rating: 3.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.12 / 10 (rated by 411 viewers)
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After Vikram Bhatt had a surprise success with the low-key thriller FAREB(Faraaz Khan-Millind Gunaji-Suman Ranganathan) he managed to carve himself with a niche of sorts with a newly found formula. Fresh cast of up-and-comers, a Hollywood inspired “thriller” with plenty of twists and hot scenes and a super-hit musical score. The formula worked with a handful of films like FAREB, KASOOR, RAAZ and in between Bhatt even started getting some “big” movies like GHULAM, AWAARA PAAGAL DEEWANA and DEEWANE HUYE PAAGAL too. However after a spate of Box-office flops where even his trusted formula started wearing thin (INTEHAA, ELAAN, AETBAAR and JURM) he tried making a movie which wasn’t just about “hot scenes” and “thrillers” with ANKAHEE last year. Though the film turned out to be one of his finest works as a director it failed to ignite the box-office. So what next from Vikram Bhatt? He tried to re-work his formula one more time with RED.

It looked like a sure-shot winner on face value with his favourite “hero” Aftab in the leading role with a new “rough and tough” getup, a thrilling story which promised to be an “erotic thriller” of sorts with plenty of sex, and a popular score by Himmesh Reshammiya. So does the movie work? No..hell no! Infact this is a movie that completely backfires and is devoid of any originality, thrills or chills.

The movie revolves around Neel Oberoi(Aftab Shivdasani) a billionaire who is diagnosed with a fatal heart disease. His life comes to a halt, and only a heart transplant can save his life. At the right time a donor is found, Anahitas (Celina Jaitley) husband who had died in a car accident. Anahita is a stunning and gorgeous lady who after the demise of her husband leads a lonely and miserable life. Neel is completely smitten by Anahita and is slowly drawn into a passionate affair with her. Anahita reveals to Neel that her husband had been murdered and the Ria (Amrita Arora) who is Anahitas best friend is the culprit. Ria had an affair with Anahitas husband, but when she couldn’t have him she murdered him instead. To help Anahita out Neel murders Rocky (Amin Hajee) who had murdered Anahitas husband but in the process leaves behind his watch. At that moment enters a smart and nosey cop (Sushant Singh) who is aware that there is more to this story than meets the eye and is adamant to uncover the truth. A cat and mouse tale of lies, deceit and double cross ensures next.

The biggest culprit here is the story by writer Manoj Tyagi. Given the movie is a “thriller” it fails to offer the viewer with anything new. Right from the outset the story is far-fetched with the identity of the heart donor being revealed so easily. The love story between Aftab and Celina is so badly defined that it’s hard to swallow. And given this is the very foundation of the movie it wouldn’t be a far cry to say that the movie fails right from the start. The sequences of events that follow leave a lot to be desired for. Tyagis screenplay is worse than his story. The movie is one of the most unoriginal thrillers I have seen recently as it borrows so heavily from other films in the same genre. The initial sequences remind the viewer of Vikram Bhatts KASOOR, the latter sequences in the movie are directly lifted from Amit Saxenas JISM, and even the twists and turns in the climax bear a resemblance to Ananth Mahadevans AKSAR. Devoid of any originality, to top it off the movie has a sluggish pace, and idea would’ve been for the character to “grow” on the viewers which is never succeeds to do either.

As a director this is Vikram Bhatts laziest work to date. Of late with films like INTEHAA, AETBAAR and even JURM he has been failing to offer the viewer with anything new, though even those films had enough “thrills” in them to be watchable once. However RED is such a juvenile attempt that one wonders where Vikram Bhatt truly believed in this product? Given that last year Bhatt delivered the superb little gem ANKAHEE with Aftab this comes as a rude shock more than anything. No doubt technically Vikram Bhatt has always been a slick director, and RED is no different from in this retrospect. Stylishly laced with blue and red toned lenses Praveen Bhatts camerawork is dazzling and impressive to the eyes. Bhatts aim is no doubt to give the film a “European noir touch” and right from the lighting, colours to the camerawork the movie is a wonder for the eyes, though this is no doubt a case of WAY TOO MUCH STYLE OVER LITTLE SUBSTANCE. To top it off the movie is filled with oodles of sex scenes and kissing sequences which seem to be there to tantalise the viewers rather than add anything to the movie. The movie probably has the most sex scenes and kissing scenes so far in a Vikram Bhatt film, and this is again evidence that Bhatt was after making a quick and cheap buck rather than making a half decent film.

Performance wise the movie isn’t that impressive either. Aftab Shivdasani in his “rough and tough” avatar looks impressive and his buff physique and stylish attire goes well with his dark character. In terms of acting the movie doesn’t offer Aftab anything new. His portrayal seems to have a sense of deja-vu written all over it.

Celina Jaitley cannot act. She desperately tries to bull a Bipasha in JISM yet fails miserably. Yes she looks good in front of the camera, and has a satiable body which she flaunts and cavorts without any inhibitions, however in this case this doesn’t cover up for her lack of talent. Her crying sequences gyrate on the nerves.

Amrita Arora has a role hardly worth writing about. One seriously wonders why Amrita signed this movie? She looks good, however like Celina leaves a lot to be desired for on the acting front.

Sushant Singh plays one of the biggest Bollywood clichés with aplomb. He slips into the part of a nosey, investigation cop with relish and despite the predictable conventions of his character plays out his part well.

Amin Hajee and Kishori Shahane Vij are OK in their parts.

Himmesh Reshammiyas music sounded good on my IPOD, however whilst watching the movie the songs seemed to irritate more than anything. AAFREEN and AAMEEN with their overly sexual picturisations and Reshammiyas nasal vocals screaming didn’t do much for me with this movie, the songs were a disappointing to say the least here and the picuturisations more an excuse for a soft-core porn.

All up RED is a weak film, and one that should serve as a wakeup call for Vikram Bhatt….time to rethink and reinvent the formula….and fast!

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