OKAY SO Bollywood is not entirely devoid of logic and decent storyline! Which is probably why Venus Records And Tapes Pvt Ltd's, ``Humraaz" has its moments of redemption. Its not without its mainstream, commercial hangover, but the director duo Abbas -Mustan has tried to create a twists and turns thriller, never mind if it is inspired by a Hollywood original! For starters, the film looks visually pleasing in terms of its locations, the main characters and the ambience of a cruise, where a lot of the action takes place. Though Akshaye Khanna, who plays the lover boy in the first half, looks most uncomfortable, he gets better and better as the film progresses. However he could have done without his new hairstyle, because we have not gotten over his appearance in ``Dil Chahta Hai." Amisha Patel looks very pretty and just as you begin to get sick of her cloying smiles and demeanour, you find the character slipping into better moments of histrionics. Bobby Deol spends the entire first half looking moony eyed and spaced out, but overcomes the stupor towards the end where he actually gives a good performance.
The accent on family ties with needless songs and dances is the bane of some good plots. But here it only forms the backdrop for the narration. Justified! Karan and Priya (Akshaye Khanna, Amisha Patel) are performers apart from being romantically involved. Both have big dreams of being rich and famous and this they hope to do through their music and dance troupe. All very well except that the right breaks just don't seem to come. An opportunity arises where a 7 star cruise advertises for an entertainment group to perform while cruising from Singapore to Malaysia and the team hopes to bag this prestigious assignment.
But then all is not fair and Karan discovers that even before the auditions are conducted, another leading team from Bombay has been selected. Sensing foul play, Karan barges in to appeal to Raj Singhania (Bobby Deol), the young tycoon who owns the ship. Fair auditions are then called for. A bit of cheating during the audition trips up Priya and they lose the chance to win. Karan will have none of it and goes after the culprit. Competition is eliminated and Karan's team is on. Aboard the luxury liner, the performances by the troupe are greatly appreciated. What is more Raj falls hook, line and sinker for Priya's delicate beauty. Soon you find him proposing to her. Priya seems to like his advances and when she accepts his engagement ring you are left feeling that all is not well. Then comes the second half where deception, conspiracy and blackmail, rule the proceedings giving the film its character.
Though the end is filmy and long drawn out, the suspense is tangible. Camera work by Ravi Yadav raises the level of the film considerably, while music (lyrics-Sudhakar Sharma) by Himesh Reshammiya, is just about passable. Also in the cast are Johnny Lever and Suhasini Mulay, who plays Raj's computer savvy grandmother. She lends dignity to a role overdone in mainstream Hindi cinema.
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