This Old Wine Come Neatly Packaged in a New Bottle
By MovieTalkies.com, 28 March 2009
Sangeeth Sivan takes a break from the genre of comedy and makes a movie with some fantastic action sequences and a fair bit of drama as well. The story unfortunately is not new. This film is said to be a remake of a Telugu one, starring Mohan Babu. However, besides that film, the story of Ek also resembles a few movies made on the same theme in Mumbai as well, like the Meena Kumari Rajesh Khanna starrer Dushman, or even the 1960 Dev Anand Suchitra Sen starrer, Bambai Ka Babu, which also dealt with the same theme of mistaken identity. But leaving aside its various sources of inspiration, the film is made well it is strong on action, but not so much in the romance and drama end. But in the final analysis, it is a movie which works and is quite heartwarming.
Sivan has striven to pack the film with bits of everything, crime, politics, love, family, comedy, action, and sought to make a movie which is masala packed, as it were. Bobby Deol acquits himself very well indeed, specially in the action and family drama bit and makes a strong impression. The film is fairly absorbing and, like the masala films of yore, has a bit in it for everyone, which is a change in these times of multiplex oriented films.
The film's protagonist, Nandu (Bobby) is an orphan, who has been given the assignment of assassinating opposition leader Anna Mhatre (Sachin Khedekar) at a political rally. But someone else has some other plans in store. Even before Nandu is able to fire a shot, someone else gets to Mhatre. A shocked Nandu manages to escape from the scene by jumping onto a running train. It is here that he meets a simple Punjabi youth called Puran (Akshay Kapoor), who is going back home after a very long time. As they get into conversation, Puran tells him everything about his home and family members. Meanwhile, the cops are in hot pursuit of Nandu and plan to nab him when the train halts at the next destination. Sure enough, the cops start their search and discover Nandu. However, poor old Puran pays a hefty price for being with Nandu as he is accidently gunned down by the cops. He dies instantly and Nandu manages to escape before the cops arrive on the spot. Having nowhere else to go, and with the cops after him, Nandu decides to go to Puran's house and break the news to his family.
But in a case of mistaken identity, the family takes Nandu to be their Puran and give him a warm welcome. For the first time in his life, Nandu realizes what it means to have and live with a family. He forms a special bond with each of the members, specially Puran's grandfather, played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda and one of the aunts, played by Zarine Wahab. He gets comfortable living with the family, which he now considers his own. Love strikes as well when he meets Preet (Shriya Saran) and life could not have been better. Back in the outside world, Mhatre's death receives special attention by the authorities and they delegate a CBI officer, Inspector Rane (Nana Patekar), to get to the bottom of the case. Following a trail of clues, the ingenious Rane lands up at Puran's house where he meets Nandu.
The film is marked with some very good performances by Bobby and Nana, specially, who seems to be in full form in EK. Nana's character has been given some very witty lines to mouth as well, which he manages to deliver in his trademark style. Bobby is quite at home in the action sequences, which have been superbly choreographed by Peter Hein, be it the scene when he jumps from a building onto a moving train, or the fight sequences. Where Bobby's weakness shows up is in the romantic scenes with Shriya Saran and in the emotional bits. But he manages to pull it off with some support by the rest of cast, which includes veterans like Jackie Shroff, Chunky Pandey, Raghuvir Yadav, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Zarina Wahab. Shriya, the leading lady of the movie, looks good but as little scope in this action packed drama.
Sivan has handled his material quite well and tried to make a movie, which is closer in feel to the movies of yore. He has banked quite heavily on the action sequences, which aided with some very sharp editing, has really given the film an edge in that department. On the whole, it is old wine in new bottle, but the packaging is quite neat.