Ek Ka Dum 1(‘Nenokkadine’ in Telugu) , Hindi Bollywood Film movie Review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * 1/2
Hindi film review
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Hindi film review
Technically sharp but hampered by implausibility!
Film: Ek ka Dum 1
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Kriti Sanon, Kelly Dorji
Rating: * * ½
‘Ek ka Dum 1’ released in it’s Telugu original version ‘Nenokkadine’ earlier this year and grossed $1.2 million in the US, making it one of the top four Telugu grossing films in that country. The film also rang up another milestone when it reached the $1 million mark in the United States, one of the best openings ever for an Indian film. So a dubbed Hindi version made sense especially since it had Mahesh Babu(better known as Namrata Shirodkar’s husband, in Hindi circles) and Kriti Sanon(fresh from her ‘Heropanti’ success) in the lead.
The film is a psychological revenge drama, fashioned as a thriller, with the psychologically embattled hero trying to pinpoint his parents’ killers and seek retribution for their loss. As a young boy Gautham lost his parents and was sent to an orphanage. While no one believes his parents were murdered, Gautham keeps having visions of an incident involving him and his parents while on a bus ride. The adult Gautham(Mahesh Babu), a rockstar, can’t remember his parents faces or what exactly happened to them. He believes they were murdered and has visions of four men chasing him through the forest. One of them appears to him at his concert which was being filmed live. He chases him and eventually kills him. But an enterprising TV journalist, Sameera(Kriti Sanon) who secretly followed and recorded the events proves that he did not kill anyone. That was his imagination entirely. On psychiatric evaluation, Gautham is diagnosed as suffering from Integration disorder which essentially means his brain has 25% less grey matter which affects cognition and memory. From thereon Gautham struggles to put together a plausible explanation for his visions and is aided by the aggressively love-sick Sameera. Together they join the dots and come up with events that appear to be hallucinatory but in actuality are factual.
The main problem in the telling is the point-of-view shifts from Gautham to Sameera to the villains, leading to a lot of confusion and heart burn. The plotting is too convoluted and it’s too difficult to keep track of the clues and counter clues that keep propping up after every event. To add to the misery there are repetitive sequences with different endings leaving you confused and befuddled. The narrative length is beyond bearable limits clocking more than 2 hr 30 minutes- which in fact stretches believability to beyond bearable limits. In fact the entire story plays out like a weird fantasy. The characters don’t appear believable as none of them have realism as a creative base. The opening sequence has rockstar Gautham singing a ridiculous sounding, supposedly hit number ‘Who am I’ and then jumping off stage and pursuing the villain while the concert is still on. Sameera who is filming the concert follows him like s stalker and even declares her love for him with the gusto of a hurtling train. The narrative is fast paced with jump cuts, montage and sequence shots doing duty in effecting a frenzy of action and pace. The action choreography appears lifted from Korean films and comes across as quite crusty. The dubbing is also first rate. But the plotting appears contrived and implausible. Mahesh Babu with his earnestness and good looks, is a welcome addition to the romantic-action hero set while Kriti Sanon looks delectable, and performs confidently - much better than her ‘Heropanti’ effort. This is a film that tries to do too much but achieves precious little. Clearly, the Director did not uuencode it well enough to make the story decipherable or plausible.