Friday, May 12, 2006

Tathastu - Movie Review in Bombay Times and

In my earlier post of May 6, 2006, I had written about my apprehension that Tathastu (starring Sanjay Dutt and Amisha Patel) could be inspired from the hollywood flick John Q (Starring Denzel Washington).

The movie has been reviewed in today's (May 12, 2006) edition of Bombay Times (Page 9) the story is indeed the exact same as John Q. It has also been reviewed on today (May 12, 2006).

The review of Tathastu is as follows:

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Amisha Patel, Jaya Prada, Yash Pathak, Darshan Jariwala, Gulshan Grover etc
Direction: Anubhav Sinha

Rating: * ½

So, we’re on that beaten track again. Bite for bite, the people are worse, but they can be saved. Says who? Well, says Ravi Rajput as he parks himself outside a 5-star hospital (so we’re told) ranting his aphorism ‘Tathastu’. God’s round the corner, so make your wish lest his mortal re-surface and the reek of reality soften your pop corn. This is spectacle at its very bleak in Anubhav Sinha’s re-meshed ditto of Nick Cassavetes’ Denzel Washington-starrer ‘John Q’ (2002).

Denzel Washington’s down-on-his luck father is reprised by our good fellow Sanjay Dutt. Dutt plays Ravi Rajput, whose insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant and his hard-nosed employers won’t care as much. True like every screen protagonist who was pitted against the system since ‘Citizen Kane’, Rajput too decides to hack the law and grant his son his innate right to survival.

Here, pop the B-complex. Ravi Rajput’s sunny boy (Yash Pathak) is the little wonder-whiz cricketer who collapses while playing the game as a result of a heart failure. Rajput immediately rushes his boy wonder to the hospital, where our protagonist and his wife (Amisha Patel) learn of their son’s near-terminal heart illness which can only be corrected by a transplant.

But the parenting woes are only just complicating for our factory mazdoor Rajput. The emergency room for the transplant is a 5-star facility and the operation costs are more than our poor fellow can ever cough up. Sources quickly run out on our good man as the deadline for raising the fee nears. Then, there’s also the added complication of one politician Swamiji (faceless) as the other contender for the lone heart available.

With his back to the wall, Rajput decides to take matters in his own hands. He takes the emergency room hostage until the doctors agree to the transplant. The hostages include a conscientious hooker, a beaten wife, a shrewd old businessman and a knocked out ward boy among others.

Now, how can the protagonist wage a war on the system without a good measure of social sermons? So, as Rajput loads a earful to the hostages, the police and politicians are conniving outside the scene to get the situation in control. As the whole negotiation gets knotty, you’re already switched off while just into the second half.

You’re finally woken up by that last dig at climactic resuscitation, which to say the least is the coup-de-grace. The story and screenplay (by Yash-Vinay) is a baggy patch of the original and is so separated from cinematic fluidity, you almost gawk at their momentous luck in getting an opportunity in the first place.

The potential sub-plots which are hung at you mid way through the film (remember the hostages) flatter to deceive as the plots are left half baked and undone. I must make a special mention here of Manoj Pahwa (as the ward boy) who turns out another impressive performance after ‘Being Cyrus’.

After ‘Zinda’ (2005), Sanjay Dutt comes out with another stellar show. If there’s a reason you survive the end of this retrogression onslaught, it is purely for the neat and committed performance by Dutt who tries to lift the film in parts but the script just fails him every step of the way. Amisha Patel’s presence in the film could only be attributed to star value; you can count her lines in singles. Yash Pathak is hardly given any scope to build a resonance with the watcher.

Jaya Prada as the well meaning doctor is completely wasted in a badly written part. The support cast including Darshan Jariwala, Arun Jhankal, Anoop Soni and Gulshan Grover are nothing out of the ordinary.

The music by Vishal and Shekhar have only one Qawwali number to prove their utility. The cinematography by Ravi Walia and editing by Sanjib Datta are inconsequential given the nature and texture of the story and visuals.

The direction by Anubhav Sinha is a poor return after ‘Dus’ (2005). But, in spite of the limited scope Sinha doesn’t show much innovation in bracing up the display. Give it a skip, unless you absolutely can’t, like me.

1 comment:

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