Planet Bollywood

Ansh
 
Producer: Suresh Sharma
Director: Rajan Johri
Starring: Abbas, Sharbani Mukherji, Om Puri, Sayaji Shinde, Ashutosh Rana
Music: Nadeem-Shravan
Lyrics: Sameer
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 3 Hrs
Film Released on: 12 April 2002
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu  - Rating: 5.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.08 / 10 (rated by 413 viewers)
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It’s common when watching films to approach it with some expectations. Expectations that arise from some idea of what the film will deal with.. Even with its English sub-line (Ansh - “The Deadly Part”) we are not lent a clue what the film is about. The only reason to watch the movie remains Nadeem-Shravan’s music.

Unfortunately, the promotion campaign for Ansh was all about that, Nadeem-Shravan’s music. The trailers were more like trailers promoting the duo (with pictures floating across the screen even!) rather than the film. Sad that neither Nadeem-Shravan deserve that promotion for this film, nor the makers. Another poorly promoted film which tackles a subject other than love, and could have been something with the right endorsement. The soundtrack may have done good business in Mumbai, but just promoting the music and not the actual film, which is an action film which deals with corruption and the underworld (funny how it chooses to release with Ram Gopal Varma’s Company, a film with a similar topic), is just plain old pointless. Thus, Abbas, Sharbani Mukherji better rely on their next release because Ansh- The Deadly Part will just turn out to be a “dead” attempt for them.

Interestingly enough, aside from Tamil Actor Abbas’s debut as a solo Bollywood hero, and Sharbani Mukherji’s debut into Indian cinema, the star cast consists of some of the most talented supported cast members. Ashutosh Rana, Om Puri and Sayaji Shinde all play important roles in the film.

Rajan Johri, whose last release, Uljhan was no better (in terms of promotions, scripting etc.), was very optimistic about this film when he launched it. Especially when he listed in the above named supporting cast for the film. He promised that the film would be “an honest look into the corruption of politicians and how it has a direct effect on the lives of the people of India.” Ansh does take a look into corruption and politicians and the powerful and the weak and the innocent and the unfortunate.

Beginning with the obviously corrupt Inspector Sukhdev Singh (Ashutosh Rana), who is chummy with Bhagat Pandey (Om Puri), a lesser corrupt officer, the film travels through the progression of corruption with these individuals. Sukhdev is the first to turn the tables on honesty and Bhagat reluctantly gives in.

We are then taken to the life of Raj Guru (Abbas) who once was a good official, but gone bad thanks to the now very corrupt system. Raj eventually forms a group of bad guys with the help of some bigger and meaner individuals. Together they try to corrupt the world, but, of course, when one bad group forms, so does another. That’s where Sayaji Shinde as Govinda comes in. Result is a great deal of corruption so much so that one can’t include it enough in this review. It’s simply all about corruption, up until the last minute of the corrupt climax.

Oh yeah, there are heroines in this film. Shweta (Sharbani Mukherji) who is introduced in “Sirf Sunday Ko”, is eventually paired up with Raj after a lot of hoopla and Kusum (Shama Sikander) who also falls in love with Raj under the same situations. Sadly, both of the heroines go through a lot of eighties style drama in trying to acquire Raj (screams, cries, “main tumse pyaar karti hun…”)

Raj Johri suffers as a writer. The patchy script doesn’t focus on the right places to help get his point across- but it is evident that he is trying to depict a point. Throwing in the heroines in such a masaledar way interrupts the narrative way too much. (I guess it’s too much to ask to have the female heroines play guys once in a while?) The script is the first and biggest fall out of this lacking enterprise. His direction serves the film aptly, again, failing to leave much of an impression because of the script. Camerawork is mediocre. It isn’t the worst job with the camera but doesn’t help the film much. V. Subbarao’s cinematography does help the situation a little. Adding more style would have helped the film. In an effort to stray from the “all style and no substance” phrase, Johri placed no style in this film.

Even though it is a low budget film, it could have used some style. A good example would be the recently released December 16th. The film oozed technical appeal, which certainly does more to overcome the drawbacks. The action sequences should have been stylishly shot to make Ansh a better film.

Nadeem-Shravan’s music comes off worst than it does on the CD. The tune(s) promoted densely with the promotion campaign, Masoom Chehraa, all versions, are picturized normally. Running around trees, in fact. Again, the composers were the one that got more footage in the promotion campaign, but were they worthy of it? Watching the film doesn’t say much.

The actors that stand out more are Om Puri and Ashutosh Rana. Though they have starred in many a films like these in the past, they impress with their decent performances. Unfortunately, the situation for Sayaji Shinde is that he has only starred in these types of films and doesn’t do much for our viewing pleasure.

Abbas has talent as an actor and it shows. After all, he is coming from another industry where he is considered “a superstar”. It will be long before he acquires that status in Bollywood, especially if he picks films like these. The problem is that working with the big names is where recognition comes in. Rajan Johri barely fits that bill.

Sharbani Mukherji sings and dances and looks good doing it. Shama Sikander has less to do and doesn’t look as good doing it. Can’t really blame them, even a heroine like Amisha Patel took such a pointless role in Kranti in hopes that the film would be a success. A word Sharbani, the title of “Kajol’s Cousin” won’t do much without hard work.

Ansh is a typical Bollywood film, the subject it tackles tries to stray from being regular but doesn’t do it much. A weak climax and normal contents doesn’t help that. Thankfully, you don’t have to pay eight dollars to find this out (you’ve read this review), and, it has been released directly to the DVD in most areas. If you do rent it, you’ll probably end up fast forwarding, so why not save some money, peace of mind and time, and just avoid it..

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