By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Monday, October 22, 2007
Vikram Bhatt has often been accused of borrowing heavily from foreign films. In Speed, he borrows from the Hollywood film Cellular, which, in turn, reminded you of Phone Booth. Despite the similarities, Speed is slick, has several compelling moments and isn"t as predictable as one thought it would be.
Speed is an edge of the seat thriller and unravels at a feverish pace. The only problem is, there"re a few rough edges [a few questions unanswered, predictable climax], but the pros easily outnumber the cons here.
In a nutshell, Speed is an engrossing fare, with moments that stay with you.
What do you do when you get a phone call from a stranger begging you to save her life? What would you do if your only ray of hope is your phone?
Zayed Khan comes to London to convince his girlfriend Tanushree Dutta to give him another chance to prove his love for her. Meanwhile, Sanjay Suri, an undercover agent, receives a CD from Aftab Shivdasani and Sophie Chaudhary, which contains the recording of his kidnapped wife, Urmila Matondkar, and is asked to follow the instructions.
He"s completely confused about what"s happening. Soon he realizes that he is being used as a weapon to assassinate the P.M. of India on the London tour. As he is still not agreeing to plans, Aftab finally decides to kidnap his kid.
Sanjay"s kidnapped wife, Urmila, starts trying to escape. Her only ray of hope is the telephone call she"s accidentally made to Zayed Khan. He"s in touch with her throughout, continuously talking with her and giving her moral support. As Zayed decides to help Urmila, his love of life, Tanushree gets annoyed and threatens to break up again. A happy-go-lucky brat Zayed, who never takes anything seriously, risks his own life to save an unknown family just because of a call.
Aashish Chowdhary, the super-cop of London, is in charge of security of the visiting Prime Minister. But as his girlfriend has her birthday the very same day, Aashish is caught between his personal life and duty. He obviously chooses the later. Will Aftab and Sophie succeed in their sinister plans?
Although Speed borrows from Cellular, it must be mentioned that the Indian moviegoer has witnessed strikingly similar themes in the past. Yet, in all fairness, Vikram and his team of writers have Indianized the plot well. For, the film is absorbing in most parts, except for some glitches in the second hour.
The Aashish – Amrita track, for instance, should"ve been better developed. Also, the film gets slightly predictable towards the finale, although, frankly, you don"t really mind it since the culmination couldn"t be different.
Director Vikram Bhatt is in form this time. Thrillers have always been his forte and his handling of the subject material is commendable this time. It"s stylish and most importantly, it succeeds in keeping your interest alive. Pritam"s music is okay, although, given the genre, the makers have wisely restricted the songs in the narrative. Pravin Bhatt"s cinematography is topnotch. The locales of London are eye-filling and give the film the required sheen. Action sequences [Abbas Ali Moghul] are well executed.
Speed belongs to two actors primarily Urmila Matondkar and Zayed Khan. Urmila handles her part with dexterity and adds freshness to the goings-on since she has cut down on her acting assignments. Zayed is cool and suits the role well. Aashish Chowdhary springs a surprise. In fact, the actor is getting likable with every release.
Sanjay Suri is a fine actor, but the spark is missing this time. Aftab too isn"t fiery enough and his look is a complete put-off. Tanushree Dutta needs to go easy on her makeup. Otherwise, she"s passable. Sophie Chaudhary makes her presence felt. Amrita Arora looks glamorous.
On the whole, Speed is an interesting thriller that has the advantage of being a solo release. At the box-office, this reasonably priced fare should attract its share of viewers in its initial run.