Aamir the film is an impressive debut for Raj Kumar Gupta as a director. Even more so, it is a first film for the music director, the cinematographer, the leading man, the new production unit apart from the director. Gupta stays away from the clichés that a newcomer may be susceptible to. Aamir movie review…
Instead of usually expected a la-Hollywood film-noir style, Gupta places this drama-thriller which exposes the Mumbai’s underbelly.
Aamir, the film has been ‘inspired’ by the 2005 Filipino film Cavite and is essentially about a Muslim doctor Aamir Ali who is returning to Mumbai from London.
The moment Aamir (Rajeev Khandelwal) lands at Mumbai Airport, he is extensively questioned by the Customs simply because he is Muslim.
Our protagonist walks out of the airport and realizes no one is there to receive him. He even calls home but no one answers. More trouble so, when almost immediately two unknown men on a motorcycle hurl a mobile phone into his hands.
Aamir is now transported to a world he never knew: The dingy areas of Mumbai. He is dragged to the whirlpool of terrorism. His only crime is that of being a Muslim.In its lanes and by lanes, cheap restaurants and lodges, amongst nameless pimps and whores, run-down buildings and over-crowded markets, filth and squalor, Aamir sees a different world in those few hours.
From here starts a game wherein Aamir is forced to follow the instructions of an unknown man on the phone in order to get his kidnapped family is released. He has to collect a red bag from one destination and just follow instructions from other side of the phone. In between the ordeal, he is given a taste of how his brethren are living, and also getting drilled into his head the information on Islam. Forced to follow orders on phone, Aamir is sent from one destination to another as his movements are tracked, until he is to do the final delivery of the red bag at Andheri station.
The truth dawns on Aamir that the bag contains a bomb.
He is left with few options: Either he succumbs to the terror tactics or he bows down before God. Either he follows their instructions and be labeled a suicide bomber (for his family to bear the stigma) or let the worst happen to his kidnapped family.
Though Aamir is a remarkable film, a minor flaw in the plot: since there are several people involved in this plot, so what was the need for the terrorists to randomly select Aamir for the plan – especially since the plan was never a suicide bombing. Alphonse Roy’s cinematography skillfully balances the concept of a frantic handheld camera with tight, meticulously mounted extreme close ups. The music by Amit Trivedi is joyful. We have an offbeat album here which has received a positive reaction from all genres. The screenplay is brilliant, it is a riveting drama. Never before has any film captured the locations in Mumbai’s mean streets and alleys.
Rajeev Khandelwal has an amazingly compelling screen presence. He appears so natural that one tends to identify with the character. He effortlessly plays the character in a turmoil – vulnerable, helpless, frustrated, tired and angry. It is easily the best performance of the year so far. Gajraj Rao is frighteningly menacing. Even the supporting cast appears so normal that the viewer feels as if he is actually among them.
Aamir movie review – Though made on a shoe-string budget, the director is in full control of his craft, his crew and his subject. Aamir is an engrossing drama – thriller.
CAST of Aamir:
Aamir Ali – Rajeev Khandelwal
Prostitute – Jhilmil Hazrika
Chief – Gajraj Rao
Credits of Aamir:
Presenter – UTV SPOT BOY
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Vikas Bahl, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta
Writer Rajkumar Gupta
Creative Producer – Anurag Kashyap
Co-Producer – Deven Khote, Zarina Mehta
Story, Dialogue, Screenplay Writer – Rajkumar Gupta
Associate Producers – Ram Mirchandani, Alpana Mishra
Supervising Producer – Rucha Pathak
Original Music by Amit Trivedi
Cinematography by Alphonse Roy
Film Editing by Aarti Bajaj
Production Designer – Wasiq Khan
Playback Singers – Qadir Khan, Murtuza Khan, Amit Trivedi, Neuman Pinto, Shilpa Rao, Amitabh
Aamir, movie review