Pretty engrossing fare

GOOD SHOW: Anil Kapoor in `My Wife's Murder'.

GOOD SHOW: Anil Kapoor in `My Wife's Murder'.  

My Wife's Murder (Hindi)

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Nandana Sen

Director: Jijy Philip

He belongs to that endangered species - a hero who does not swear by a bull worker, a leading man who is neither a chocolate cream guy nor a muscleman who can take on a bunch of goons on a dark night and come out triumphant. And thank God for that!

Thank God for an actor like Anil Kapoor, a man with limited assets, also a man who has been the recipient of some unmerited gifts, courtesy our media. When was the last time he delivered a hit on his own? Whom do you pair him with? The questions, some justified too, stare him down the barrel as he takes the ultimate test at the box office.

This week he attempts to do something he has not quite succeeded in doing in recent times - carry a film on his shoulders alone. What's more, this time he succeeds. Just about. Yes, this debutant director Jijy Philip's film is a murder mystery that moves on at a decent pace with a pointed narration.

It keeps the viewers involved: whether the hero would be cornered for the murder of his wife, they think collectively. That the viewers stay on till the end despite seeing the hero committing the crime is a tribute to Anil Kapoor, now with more than a week's stubble on his ageing chin.

His eyes portray certain helplessness, his body language makes his anxiety more profound.

And he gets good support from Nandana Sen, secretary suspected of something more by hero's wife. She is quite fetching. And Suchitra Krishnamurthy is suitably loud as the nagging wife.

Honest approach

Watch this film for its honesty of approach and an upcoming director honing his craft. It is not the greatest offering from the Ramgopal Varma School of Filmmaking - despite all its dark shadows, blues and tilted camera angles. But it is naturally absorbing. Don't go looking for flowers here and you won't come back with thorns.

Ziya us Salam

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