Worth a Watch!
By Vikas Mohan, MovieTalkies.com, 20 May 2006
Pritish Nandy Communications’ ANKAHEE is a film on relationships and marital infidelity. The cut line of the film “Vikram Bhatt tells a story close to his heart” has led helped evoke strong curiosity about the film as it has led people to believe that the film is based on Vikram’s turbulent relationship with Sushmita Sen while he was still married.
Shekar (Aftab) is a successful lawyer who lives with his loving wife Nandini (Amisha) and their beautiful daughter Sheena. Everything in their lives is perfect until one day Kavya is brought into Shekar’s hospital. Kavya, former Miss World and a rising Bollywood star has been jilted in love and decides to slit her wrists. Actually the film begins with Kavya being brought into the hospital and her subsequent interaction with Shekhar. As much as tries to resist Kavya’s seductive advances he eventually succumbs and is gets entangled in an affair with the very possessive and self-destructive Kavya. The news of the affair is broken by a local tabloid, and although Nandini comes across as a loving wife very dependent on her husband, she chooses not to take her husband’s affair lightly and fights back An ultimate for Shekar to choose between his wife and daughter or Kavya, results in him leaving his wife and beginning a new life with Kavya.
ANKAHEE is the story of an ordinary man torn apart by a relationship that takes with it his marriage and his daughter. A story about elation and guilt. Happiness and remorse. Love and duty. Ankahee is the untold story.
The films seems heavily inspired, not just by Vikram Bhatt’s own life but also by Mahesh Bhatt’s film Arth. The scene in which Amisha asks Esha for her husband back reminds one of a similar between Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil in Arth.
Ankahee does have some very strong emotional moments and the performance delivered by all 3 actors is commendable, although only in parts. Another problem with the film is its pace; the narrative drags and hence may prove to be slightly boring for many viewers. In addition the theme of the film and its treatment is meant for a niche audience and will definitely not appeal to those who like the regular Bollywood affair of masala films.
Performance wise, the film clearly belongs to Esha Deol. This is the first role which has allowed her to display her complete acting prowess and she does not disappoint. She plays the part of the possessive, insecure, hysterical, depression driven other woman with complete élan and delivers a power-packed performance. Aftab is great in parts and just about ok in other places. One wishes he could have delivered a more consistent performance and that his voice had not been dubbed. Amisha seems to be in her element after a long hiatus (she’s not delivered anything really great post Humraaz). She delivers a performance which is perfectly understated and yet impactful. One wishes we would see this same Amisha in all her performance. However one key element for a film like Ankahee is the chemistry between the characters, in this case especially between Aftab and Esha. Unfortunately they lack chemistry completely and even their romantic, love scenes give the viewer the impression that there is a cold vibe between the two. Hrishta is effective as the grown-up 21 year old Sheena in her outburst when her mother informs her that her father is dying and his last wish is see his daughter as well as her interaction with Shekhar in the hospital before the film goes into a flashback,
The music by Pritam is doing fairly well with Ek Pal Ke Liye being the pick of the lot. The dialogues are decent, with some lines completely melting your heart while others sound completely clichéd.
Ankahee does not match up to the quality of a film like Arth, but it is worth a watch at least once, if for nothing else than just for Esha’s performance.