New York

 

Entertainer with a message…

Picture courtesy: Yash Raj Films
Picture courtesy: Yash Raj Films

Congratulations Kabir Khan, Yash Raj Films, Bollywood fans and Katrina Kaif. Kabir because he has once again delivered a good film but this time it seems that commercial success will not elude him (the docu-maker’s first mainstream film, Kabul Express was critically acclaimed but didn’t make a lot of money). Yash Raj Films for supporting a project that goes beyond candy-floss romance and run-of-the-mill entertainment; also because their dry run seems to be coming to an end as after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’s success, this film also has opened well. Bollywood fans because after a long-long time, we have a decent film to watch. And Ms. Kaif who finally got a film where she had scope to act and yes, she delivered!

New York touches upon the subject of post 9/11 prejudices and the human rights violations committed by the US government against ‘suspected’ terrorists. The film focuses on the lives of three friends, Sam (John Abraham), Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Maya (Katrina Kaif) and how their lives get impacted after the attacks. The film highlights the plight of 1,200 men from religious minorities who were detained after the attacks for suspected terror connect. Keeping in mind a larger audience, the director keeps the torture sequences to a minimal but impactful.

Performance wise, Katrina Kaif and Irrfan Khan (as FBI agent, Roshan) shine; Irrfan because he is a fine actor and Katrina because you least expect her to. Finally, the actress got a film where she had a well defined character; she was not only convincing as an Indian-American (thanks to her accented Hindi) but was also good in emotional scenes. John Abraham is good and handles the changes in his character well. Neil Nitin Mukesh gets a tough character and it seems too challenging for the new actor; he tries hard but it shows.

There are many loopholes in the film and at times it reminds you of other movies (a scene where Katrina is frisked by a cop reminds you of an important scene from Crash, Oscar winning film on the theme of racism and intolerance) but overall the film comes together, thanks to a taut screenplay by Sandeep Srivastava. Cinematography by Aseem Mishra is first rate and music by Pritam is not memorable at all (top it with plagiarism charges).

I definitely recommend New York as an entertainer with a message. For those who would like to watch other films on similar theme, I recommend Shoaib Mansoor’sKhuda Kay Liye (2007, Pakistan) and Gavin Hood’s ‘Rendition (2007, USA). Khuda Kay Liye is a bold film about religious profiling and the contrast between Islamic extremists and liberals. Rendition focuses on the subject of extraordinary rendition where suspected terrorists are secretly and unlawfully transferred to countries known to employ harsh interrogation techniques (read torture). Starring Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Omar Metwally; the film packs extraordinary performances by the cast and a gripping screenplay. Catch these two films on DVD and for now do watch New York at a theatre near you…

My rating: * * * ½ Three and a half stars (on five)

– Shrey Khetarpal

 

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12 comments on “New York

  1. Am not sure what kabir khan was trying to communicate thru the film..the subtle undertones left minimal impact on me. The movie could have been far far better with a focussed screen play.we are still a long way behind hollywood when it comes to combining entertainment with message.

    • Charu: what you need is a dhamaka SRK starrer now to revive your faith in Bollywood 🙂 pity we have to wait till the next year for My Name is Khan but this year I think Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey will bring you back on Jai Bollywood platform 😉

  2. I totally second that. I thought it was a well done movie and a much needed change … Could have been a little longer, but it still worked well!

  3. Sorry to say but my opinion about this movie is somewhat different. I think it was a rubbish movie. Everything was in a flow and then all of a sudden an abrupt ending followed by “gyan” (imran khan and neil sitting and talking after 6 months). They could have thought of a better ending. For me it’s a flop!!!

  4. In my opinion the movie lacked a lot on the acting front. Editing and continuation of scenes was a mojor let down on a lot of occassions. Irfan Khan is no doubt a good actor but he is delivering same character in every other movie. its just like that he got out from one and entered into the next one. He is become too monotonous, genius nevertheless. John and Neil on the other hand were relying too much on their looks. I thought John could act but I guess i was wrong. Movie definetely would do well because of the scarcity of star power on the screen that we have been subjected to for a long time now. One thing they have done perfectly is releasing it at the right time.

  5. Well Shrey i agree the fact that the director had [yet agian!!]an outstanding plot [i wasnt surpirsed!!]. Bt i think he could not do justice to the second half of the film. Firstly i think the second part was stretched a lil bit and there was too much of bollywood drama [that’s the Yash Raj effect!!]…The motive of the film was untainted but the [faltu] emotional drama [dat was stretched toooo long] spoilt THE MOMENT of the film. In my opinion if the second part of the movie was crisper the message of the movie would have been more clearer…

    From my side *** [for all the actors and the director]

    • Agreed, it could have been better in the second half… regarding the Bollywood drama, it was to appeal to a larger segment (the families), if it was too hardhitting or serious they would have lost that audience. Money matters!

  6. Pingback: Kurbaan « The Movie Review Blog

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