If one were to believe in the spooky and supernatural then the near simultaneous release of these two films is in itself an aberration that defies explanation. Both films tried to be hatke, unique and provide something new to the cinema viewer. Both were hyped in different ways – Neil Nitin Mukesh was coming off the highly acclaimed Johnny Gaddaar, while any Akshay film is a contender for Box office fireworks. Both involved photography and visions seen through the medium of photos, and both after promising much ended up as complete damp squibs in the end. In ADZ the protagonist inherits a curious camera with a time dial. He can use this to dial up a future time and take photos of future events. In Tasveer the protagonist can “drop” into a photo for the time between the taking of the photo and some trauma to the person in the photo, and see what happened around that time. Both are very low on the song quotient and generally low on entertainment.
The lead actors in both films act in an extremely wooden and uninspired manner. Neil seems to be playacting the entire time and has zero chemistry with Bipasha – they just do not suit. Bipasha has a decent role and perhaps is the best part of the film. The final moments are such a cop-out. ADZ is annoying because it could have been a good film, an entertaining nail-biter. Instead it is just a useless waste of time.
In Tasveer Akshay is also disinterested and uninspired. Every time he “drops into” a photo he goes through the same routine, and it is not unlike the one that Christopher Walken went through as he seized the hand of an unsuspecting victim, and froze with a psychic revelation! That was rip-roaringly funny on Saturday Night Live and the Trivial Psychic became a phenomenon. But here, after the nth repeat of his shocked coma, one in nearly comatose with boredom. Javed Jaffrey is Happi with an I, and crappy with a Y. Ayesha Takia plays the worst role of her life, dull, lifeless and impressionless. Sharmila Tagore is halfway decent, though her speech is quite affected. There is a twist of course but it is silly and leaps out at you from nowhere, very much like the twist in ADZ. The film is shot in a moody broody manner that makes some parts almost impossible to see. This one is annoying because it is Kukunoor – what on earth is the director of Dor and Iqbal doing making such poor films?
Bollywood is in the doldrums and one can see why. If this is what is on offer, the audience will stay away for sure.
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