25 July 2007 | runi_star
Lengthy but entertaining...
Film: Apne Director: Anil Sharma Cast: Dharmendra, Kiron Kher, Sunny Deol, Shilpa Shetty, Bobby Deol, Katrina Kaif, Victor Banerjee, Aryan Vaid, Divya Dutt Rating: ***
Anil Sharma's earlier films Gadar Ek Prem Katha (Love story) and Hero-love story of a spy had extra dose of Sunny Deol's screams. But contrary to them, this film has been able to keep him quiet and let Dharmendra's acting shine. His earlier films had very subtle tag lines but they were actually filled with action. He kept this film without a tagline and filled it with heavy weights and boxing!!
Baldev Chowdhary played by Dharmendra is an ex boxer, Olympic silver medallist. When in the US fighting for the World Heavy weight Championship, the betting mafia conspired against him and made doping charges against him. This brought him a fifteen years ban on his boxing career. He was passionate and loved the sport more than anything. He was devastated by the verdict. So he challenged the federation in US that his son Angad played by Sunny Deol would become a world heavy weight champion and bring him the pride back.
The opening scene of the movie where Dharmedra looks at the snow in his hands and compares it with life, saying life is like snow...we know its going to melt but the period it stays in our hands, is most extraordinary and wonderful.
The gloomy cold atmosphere brings in the grief in the ex boxer's life. The scene has the presence of his friend Ali played by Victor Banerjee and the way they meet and bid goodbye creates a bit of a suspense. I felt that Baldev Chowdhary was going to commit suicide. During the conversation, most of the shots were mid-shots which brought emotion and sensitivity that the scene demanded.
Cut, the next shot brings life into a Television studio. His friend is being interviewed and the suspense remains whether Baldev Chowdhary has committed suicide or he is safe. The interview continues and the story sets back in India.
For 10 years Baldev tries to make Angad a heavy weight champion but it doesn't work out. Angad finally gives up boxing to a career in agriculture. He does quite well but it is completely against his father's wishes. At times it seems that Dharmedra is being selfish in putting so much pressure on his son. But when one looks at the gravity, suffering and pain in Dharmendra's character everything looks justifiable. This shift of balance is well portrayed by the director.
Kiron Kher plays his wife and everybody in the house listens to her. She is strong, loving and instantly bonds with the audience.
Shilpa shetty is the traditional Punjabi wife of Angad. She is full of life and a loving and caring wife, daughter-in-law and sister-in-law.
Karan played by Bobby Deol is Angad's brother and would be Rock Star. I strongly feel that just to add glamour and liveliness in a story, there is no need to bring songs. What was the need to show Bobby Deol's rock star song with his left hand in the pocket, when it was already clear that he had some problems with his left hand from his childhood. I think the editor could have been more liberal and generous in his work.
Baldev feels that he is let down by his own people. He doubts his very existence. But an opportunity comes in the form of a Boxing contest called 'Boxing Giant' organized by a Television channel. Each continent would have their own representative and the winner would fight with the world heavy weight champion Luca Gracia played by Jonnie Brown.
The director did a smart work by bringing a real politician Amar Singh in the beginning of the film. So that the audience may feel that the boxer Luca Gracia is also real. He is fantastic and definitely more opportunities will come his way to play villains in films.
It's the treatment given to the film and the spotlight to the family coming together, respecting and fighting (in literal terms) to bring back the lost pride is the strong point of the film. It's also true that the fight back appeared endless. At one point I felt If Angad also loses to Luca Gracia, Angad's kid would volunteer to fight with him!
If R K Laxman had to make a cartoon strip playing with his famous Malgudi Days, looking at the bad hair days of the Deols, it would be 'Balgudi' Days.
I felt an immensely talented actor like Victor Banerjee is wasted. The music by Himesh Reshamiya is not at all soothing. But the film rises above all
the emotion portrayed by the macho men is worth watching.