WISH THE STARS
A fairly interesting plot, a commendable performance from the leading artiste, lavish production values and terrific pieces of action -- Nayak - The Real Hero has all the ingredients that make a commercially viable film.
Nayak fails in the most significant department of filmmaking -- the ability to hold the audience for three hours.
Director Shankar, who regaled moviegoers with the hard-hitting Hindustani (Kamal Haasan and Manisha Koirala), seems to have lost track in the midst of the film.
The story is reasonably different and, therefore, stands out. Shivajirao (Anil Kapoor), is a cameraman working for a television channel. Thanks to his courageous act during a mob situation, he is promoted to the post of a reporter (aren't these two completely diverse professions?)
What's more, for his very first stint as reporter, he gets to do a live interview with the Maharashtra Chief Minister (Amrish Puri).
Trouble begins when Anil begins to grill Puri, hurling charges of corruption with recorded coverage as evidence to substantiate his allegations -- all this on live telecast. Trapped without a way out, the CM challenges Shivajirao to accept his post for a day to realise what a thankless and difficult job it is.
Anil accepts the offer.
The next few reels are rather interesting, with the new CM-for-a-day Shivajirao taking some radical steps to cleanse the system. This includes spot-suspension of government officials – the CM’s typist is quite hilarious, with a typewriter hung around his neck and dashing off orders.
Before his term ends at dawn, Shivajirao introduces new policies, sacks corrupt ministers, even gets some arrested, including the former CM. He even indulges in a fight-to-the-finish combat with local goons – something our local politicians certainly need to check out.
The audience is bound to take this part of the film well. Even though Shivajirao’s antics seem unbelievable and unrealistic, the impact is both entertaining as well as effective.
The second half of the film is a bit of a drag, and could do with some trimming. Basically, it focuses on Puri’s revenge against Shivajirao after attaining power. The rest of it is about how Shivajirao is initiated by his supporters to come back to politics again. And, after an elaborate blood-and-gore drama, the changes that he brings about in the system.
Nayak could have easily gone the Hindustani way, with its bold, radical stance. The cliches and typecasts spoil the film
On the positive side, the plot is unconventional. Though it seems impractical, the director has put in efforts to make it look believable. The scene before Anil takes oath as CM, where all the party members weigh the pros and cons of Puri’s challenge, is very pertinent.
Anil Kapoor is a delight to watch. It's difficult to imagine anyone else in this role, with the exception of maybe Aamir Khan. The role requires a certain amount of dignity, truthfulness and integrity, which Anil provides completely.
The actor is in top form throughout. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that Nayak may be among his career’s best performances.
Rani Mukherji plays Anil’s ladylove in the film and, as expected, she has very little to do except being part of some magnificently picturised songs. Once again, her voice is a major distraction -- especially in the scenes where she’s trying to be exuberant.
Amrish Puri is his usual self. But it’s Paresh Rawal who steals the show. As the CM’s upright assistant, he adds tremendous flair to his character and to the film, as a whole.
The action scenes are a treat, especially the one with Anil in the mud. This scene was shot with the help of 36 cameras which, in itself, is a feat. The Matrix-styled sequence is a delight to watch, though it needs to be chopped.
The rest of the stunts are quite thrilling and, sometimes, even dangerous – the fight sequence atop a double-decker BEST bus is an edge-of-the-seat adventure.
Shankar displays enormous ease while filming the crowd sequences – and there are quite a few in this film. Most of the film has been shot on actual locations. And that’s what adds to the flavor.
In fact, Shankar does a stark contrast in his picturization of scenes and songs.
The climax has great impact. And if at all the audience doesn’t walk out till the end of the film, it will be because of this. The final confrontation between Amrish and Anil is one of the film’s highlights.
On the flip side, the second half is sometimes monotonous. The Saiyan saiyan song, though extremely imaginatively shot, needs to be chopped.
The comedy track of the film is the most irritating part. Johny Lever goes over the top and is the worst thing about Nayak. It’s most unfortunate that the film begins with him and Razzak Khan doing an absolutely distasteful act. It’s a shame that Shankar had to resort to such insipid humour to lighten the mood of his film.
Nayak does call for one viewing. The film may be aimed at the masses at large and the violence in the film might keep the classes away. But as a subject, it is novel. One only hopes director Shankar had treated it with more maturity.
The Reel Hero
Rani:Queen of hearts
Anil to star in Mudhalvan remake
Nayak is for a world-class audience
'I just happen to be a hero'
The music release
The music review