Heartless Movie Review: Has A Heart
Heartless takes a bold step of announcing at the very beginning that it is about Anesthesia Awareness where a person on the operation table is mentally, if not physically conscious. Now due to this very fact, one expects Heartless to reach its point sooner than later so that one can experience the medical thriller with drama, deceit and love in equal measures. However Shekhar Suman decides to devote an entire hour into the build-up exercise, hence making Heartless a core love story till the interval point.
So what one gets to see is Adhyayan Suman enjoying a Bobby like moment by spotting Ariana Ayam in a party. Later in the film, his mother [Deepti Naval] disapproves of his choice but not quite in an Aruna Irani manner. As a matter of fact she disapproves of things more than one, what with recommending Om Puri to cure her son's medical condition, instead of bringing Adhyayan's newly made friend [Shekhar Suman] anywhere close to the operation table. Between these extreme points in the film, there is an hour long love story thrown in as well.
Now if the film was sold entirely as a romantic saga, one would have perhaps gone with the flow. However as a viewer, you wish that thrills come to the fore much quicker while the suspense angle starts throwing some bytes too on regular intervals. None of that happens though as one song after another, albeit tuneful with Mashoqaana leading the pack, continues to play for the first hour, hence making Adhyayan-Ariana romance as a central affair.
Thankfully, Shekhar Suman does well in ensuring that you don't quite look away from screen for the most part of it. To accomplish that, he lends a certain class to the proceedings which means sets, locations, sound design, cinematography, props etc. are also the best in class. A major part of the film is shot in Dubai and the director captures quite a few scenic beauty spots in the first one hour. Even otherwise, Heartless comes across as a very good looking and technically sound movie, which is a good sign, considering the fact that many a first time filmmakers have faltered on the overall presentation.
In fact Shekhar also shows a flair for capturing dramatic sequences quite well. The entire second half, especially the scenes set in the operation theatre, hold your attention quite well. This is where the actual story starts unfolding and as a viewer, you are surprised with the turn of events. With a double twist in the offering, you do look what is being presented on screen. In fact the entire second half is much better than the first which otherwise quite a few songs - albeit well tuned - arriving in quick succession.
The film revolves around just five-six principle characters which means there is hardly a shot or two which is cluttered with any junior artists. In fact Adhyayan Suman leads from the front and gives a very good account of himself in the film. He is confident, plays himself well in an author backed role, displays a varied range of emotions and wins you over with his vulnerable act. This should be the beginning of a new innings for him.
Not just that as Ariana too throws in a massive surprise. One would have expected her to be an add-on heroine but she plays a crucial part in Heartless. Moreover, not just is she extremely pretty, she also does quite well as an actress, hence making one wonder if this is indeed her debut film! The girl deserves to be seen more often on the big screen. Amongst senior actors, Deepti Naval leads the pack and she is good, as always. Om Puri just doesn't get much scope. Shekhar Suman makes one forget that in real life he is Adhyayan's father. He especially comes on his own during last 30-35 minutes of the film.
A film that actually has a story to tell - This is what Heartless turns out to be. What seemed like a routine boy meets girl story turns into an altogether different affair which not just becomes the USP of this directorial debut of Shekhar Suman, it also brings to light some medical facts that scare as well as educate you. Watch it for that as well as Adhyayan-Ariana performances.