16 March 2014 | MartinHafer
A subpart remake of Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much".
"Benaam" is an Indian remake of the famous Alfred Hitchcock films "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (Hitchcock remade the film himself, hence I used the word 'films'). However, it lacks subtlety and conviction and comes off as a poor substitute for the original. Much of this is probably due to when it was made. Indian films of the 1970s were not nearly as professionally made as they are today--and overacting and a lack of subtlety were not uncommon back in the day. So, while the annoying and hateful performance by the neighbor ruins every scene she's in, I chalk it up to the times in which "Benaam" was made.
Instead of Leslie Banks or James Stewart, the leading man is a guy who is every bit as famous as Stewart is in his native land. A young Amitabh Bachchan stars as a nice, normal guy who gets sucked into a crazy world of violence and assassination. He and his wife are driving to a party one night when they come upon a man by the road who was stabbed and left for dead. Not surprisingly, they take the guy to the hospital but like the expression 'no good deed goes unpunished', soon some unknown folks are threatening the family. Apparently these unknown mobsters THINK the dying man might have said something or given his benefactors some paper incriminating them--and they use threats, kidnapping and poison to get the family to cooperate--even though they really do know nothing and cannot cooperate even if they want!
The basic story isn't bad and the film is fair to watch today. But, as I already mentioned, the overacting neighbor is very distracting plus the director and screen writer did little to make you actually care about this poor family. A clear miss and there are many, many better Indian films that are worth your time.