Tag Archives: Abhijeet Sandhu

Movie Review: Rahasya (2015)

Rahasya3 Stars (out of 4)

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Rahasya is a solid police procedural, with an intriguing pool of suspects in the murder of a teenage girl. Inspired by a real case, the movie elucidates the way ordinary secrets can come back to haunt us.

The mystery begins when the body of 18-year-old Ayesha Mahajan (Sakshi Sem) is discovered by the family maid, Remi (Ashwini Kalsekar). Sometime between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., Ayesha was murdered in her own bedroom, her throat slashed.

It seems obvious to police Inspector Malwade (Nimai Bali) that Ayesha was murdered by her father, Dr. Sachin Mahajan (Ashish Vidyarthi). Dr. Mahajan was angry at discovering his daughter’s sexual relationship with a Muslim neighbor boy, Riyaz (Kunal Sharma), and he killed her in drunken fit of rage, Malwade assumes. Never mind that Riyaz is nowhere to be found, and that the other member of the household staff, Chetan (Manoj Maurya), also absconded during the night.

The case draws the interest of Central Bureau of Investigation agent Paraskar (Kay Kay Menon), who finds the answer offered by the police too convenient. Specifically, he doubts that Sachin could have slashed Ayesha’s throat so precisely given how drunk he was.

Paraskar’s investigation — with the help of his dutiful assistant, Parvez (Abhinav Sharma) — uncovers additional motives that shine the spotlight on everyone from staff members to neighbors. It also puts Paraskar in the crosshairs of the real killer.

Menon’s captivating performance is the main reason to watch Rahasya. Writer-director Manish Gupta knows this, so he employs closeups of Menon’s face liberally, encouraging the audience to focus on his star. Detective Paraskar’s initial quirkiness is short-lived, allowing the character to establish an identity distinct from all the Sherlock clones out there. He’s meticulous and principled, chasing down each lead while ignoring his wife’s suggestion to just take a bribe and be done with it.

The mystery itself is compelling, with each suspect and theory laid out in turn. Only during Paraskar’s final reveal do things slow down. Right when the audience wants the answers, director Gupta delays with flashbacks and interruptions by the suspects. It’s not a fatal flaw, but it is frustrating.

Gupta’s spin on a true crime story highlights the dangers of jumping to conclusions. While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, those with the strongest motives may be those you least suspect.

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Movie Review: Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

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Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (“I’m in Love with You”) is a funny romantic comedy with quality performances. It took careful planning by director Mandeep Kumar and writer Abhijeet Sandhu to make a movie that seems so effortlessly enjoyable.

Take the efficient and effective opening scene, a song featuring the male lead, Viren (Ritesh Deshmukh). As “Jeene De” plays, Viren smiles and sings along as he goes through his day: rising early to drive his auto-rickshaw, playing with the kids he picks up from school, gratefully stashing his days’ earnings underneath the rickshaw’s seat.

In the span of a few minutes — and while the necessary opening credits roll — the audience learns that Viren is a good guy. He’s happy, polite, thrifty, a hard worker, and he can dance. By the end of the song, we know who the main character is, and we like him.

Viren loses his life savings when Bhatti (Tinnu Anand), the man from whom Viren leases his rickshaw, sells the fleet and upgrades to cars. In an uncharacteristic drunken stupor, Viren crashes the engagement party for Bhatti’s daughter, Mini (Genelia D’Souza).

Mini doesn’t want to marry the rich oaf her father has chosen for her, so she tricks Viren into kidnapping her. He reluctantly agrees to participate when Mini promises to get his money back from her father in the form of ransom. But Viren is so inept at pretending to be a criminal that Mini has to make the ransom demand herself.

Mini’s dynamic personality is irresistible. D’Souza imbues the character with charm, as Mini gets her way without being bossy. Mini takes charge of the phony kidnapping plan to make up for the fact that she has no say in the biggest decision of her life: who she’s going to marry.

Viren isn’t cowed by Mini so much as he is out of his depth. He’s a principled guy who has deliberately chosen to avoid any activities remotely criminal. Since he doesn’t know what he’s doing — and faces prison if he’s caught — he lets Mini run the show. The characters have a nice rapport, undoubtedly helped by the fact that Deshmukh and D’Souza are married in real life.

The fun continues into the second half of the film, as Viren and Mini grow closer and we meet Viren’s family. The story is well-balanced, and dance numbers are spaced appropriately. A wedding number in which Viren and Mini get drunk is a highlight thanks to D’Souza’s overly enthusiastic dancing.

The scenery is gorgeous throughout, whether the action takes place in the fields or in the mountains. Costumes are likewise vibrant and beautiful.

Overall, Tere Naal Ho Love Gaya is a really well-made film and a great example of its genre.

Links

  • Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya at Wikipedia
  • Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya at IMDb