The April 3 release of 8×10 Tasveer may be the last Hindi film to open in American cinemas for a while. On Saturday, April 4, Bollywood producers ceased releasing new films until they can work out a profit-sharing agreement with the owners of Indian multiplexes. The cinema owners say that they are only willing to turn over a higher share of their profits for movies that prove to be hits.
I’ve wanted to see Akshay Kumar in something other than a slapstick comedy for a while now. But, after watching 8×10 Tasveer, I’m ready for him to go back to slipping on banana peels.
In 8×10 Tasveer, Kumar plays Jai, a Canadian forest ranger with psychic abilities. Specifically, Jai can look at a picture and mentally envision the events that transpired in the moments after the picture was taken. If there are multiple people featured in a photo, he can see the events from each of their perspectives.
Early in the movie, Jai’s father dies in what appears to be an accident. But when a quirky detective (note to filmmakers: enough with the quirky detectives!) suggests that his father was murdered, Jai uses his psychic abilities to determine what really happened.
The movie is slow but occasionally entertaining, as Jai delves into the mystery. But the truth behind Jai’s dad’s death is so cliched and soap operatic, I had to fight to keep from laughing during the protracted denouement.
If you’re looking for a good supernatural thriller, skip 8×10 Tasveer and seek out Aa Dekhen Zara, instead.
There’s one new Hindi film opening in the Chicago area this week. 8×10 Tasveer is a thriller starring Akshay Kumar as a man with a supernatural ability to see into the past. The film will open at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington.
Carrying over for a second week at the South Barrington 30 is supernatural thriller Aa Dekhen Zara. I thought it was pretty good, though its biggest selling point is its short runtime of just under two hours.
Here’s a video of the title song from 8×10 Tasveer:
“A man inherits a magical camera” doesn’t sound like a promising movie premise. But Aa Dekhen Zara is, at its core, an action movie that uses the magical camera as a catalyst to jump start the plot.
Struggling photographer Ray (Neil Nitin Mukesh) inherits a camera from his inventor grandfather. The camera has the ability to photograph the future. By setting the camera’s date dial to a future date, Ray can see what the subject of the photo will be doing on that future date at the same time of day that the photo was originally taken. A date and time stamp in the corner of each photo helps Ray keep track of future events.
Once Ray figures out the mystery of the camera, he does what any reasonable person would do: he uses it to win the lottery. Things go reasonably well until other people figure out what the camera is capable of. Eventually, one of Ray’s photographs shows an image of a death he must prevent — as seems to happen in every script where the main character can see the future.
Though the major plot points of the movie’s first few acts are completely predictable, the way Ray ultimately tries to change fate is clever, adding an element of originality to a tired premise.
Mukesh and Bipasha Basu — who plays Ray’s girlfriend, Simi — give believable performances that make it easy to accept the magical camera’s existence in a world that is otherwise totally normal. Aa Dekhen Zara is fairly violent, so it may not be appropriate for children. But, with a run time of only two hours (short by Hindi-film standards), you’ll save some money on hiring a babysitter.