“With great power comes great responsibility.” You probably have heard this before, in particular perhaps the Spider Man fans out there. It can have many interpretations of course. We all are entrusted with some sort of power, some sort of talent and the choice that remains is how we choose to utilise it. Deepak Tijori took this very thought and turned it into B-Towns latest edge of the seat suspense thriller, Fox! Starring the dashing and talented Arjun Rampal, the powerhouse performer Sunny Deol with support from Chak De India debutant Sagarika Ghatke and Udita Goswami.
Like every other aspect of life, the legal world has been not left untouched by Indian cinema. You all recall the melodramatic court sequences and the fiery battles of advocates and witnesses trying to make the most of India’s adversarial legal system. Of course the classic Bollywood dialogues make these moments simply unforgettable. However, in recent times this genre has been rather forgotten with many more genres emerging and appealing to the audiences. Yet actor, writer and director Deepak Tijori takes the plunge to make a serious ‘brain – ticker’. One of course loves a refreshing change from the usual laughter and romance and welcomes a film that really makes you think.
Fox is one of those “makes you think “movies that deals with morals, powers, passion and crime. It’s the story of ace criminal lawyer Arjun Kapoor whose years of success in saving top class criminals finally starts taking a toll on his conscious. He’s not an ‘evil’ character per se, nor is he a lawyer who has a full success rate because he owns the judges and witnesses; he’s just seems to be a legal genius! He’s got the rare talent of recognising the flaws and gaps in law and using it for his client’s advantage. He presents his case so well on the basis of pure law that judges simply don’t have a choice but to rule in favour of him, even if in their hearts they know the truth is something else. This is where the quote ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ comes into play because finally he succumbs to the screaming curses of the many innocents he refused justice to in the court room and decides to quit practice as a legal practitioner. He starts questioning the way in which he uses his talents as a legal practitioner and attempts to escape from all of this. However, with this sabbatical he thought the legal action from his life had finally made a grand exit for the better but how wrong he was. On his getaway he gets wound up in the most intense legal conundrum of them all and what makes this conundrum unlike any other he’s faced in his career is that the centre of all the drama is not another criminal client of his, but he himself. How this conundrum comes about and how Arjun finally untwines the mystery is what Fox is all about!
The synopsis is rather generic but Fox is one journey that you have to take for yourself to enjoy. It’s not one that can be retold because then the real flavour simply won’t come out. So be sure to set a time aside from your busy schedules to enjoy this thrilling roller coaster ride for yourself. For now let’s get to the critical side of this all and just see if Deepak Tijori puts on an impressive case for the bench or does he put up a case that’s going to be shown the door in the preliminary stages of getting to the judge.
There is no doubt that Deepak Tijori has put serious thought into his script and the genre he wants to tackle. Unlike most suspense thrillers the film isn’t a windy road of questions of ‘did he do it or did he not’ but instead it’s like an orchestral masterpiece where the tempo and the intensity of the notes build up higher and higher toward a grand ending. The grand ending is the climax where the layers of the suspense are finally peeled away giving insight to all those small scenes that didn’t make sense at the start but just like a good jigsaw puzzle it all fits perfectly forming the final picture.
While a fool proof script is essential in a thriller what’s more important, especially for Indian cinema, is as impressive dialogues. Such a script can’t have the normal melodramatic dialogues but instead it requires sophistication to match up with its characters and realism to suit its script. For the most part the dialogues does this task very well however there still remains a lot of room for improvement. Melodramatics is a unique trait of Indian cinema that we all love but also one that can be a curse at times and sadly this is what prevents a couple of scenes in Fox from reaching their full potential.
On a brighter note cinematography and art direction work perfectly in sync with the genre. As for action sequences, well it’s a thriller but not an action thriller hence the lack of action sequences. However, special mention has to be made to the chase scene nearer to the climax. Furthermore the background score by Monty Sharma is perfect in enhancing scenes and performances but one cannot say the same about the song portions of the film.
The song portions could have been definitely done without as they simply take away the sophistication of such a genre. Indian cinema really needs to learn when and when not to utilise song portions because audiences have come to stage now that we can accept a good film without songs. Screenplay writers and editors please take note, inserting songs is not compulsory!
Coming to the most awaited section of the review, the performances. Arjun Rampal is the star of the film without a doubt. The actor is simply on a roll these days and let’s hope that this isn’t the peak but that there is more to come from this ball of talent. He’s carries the maturity, the tortured persona and the intensity of Arjun Kapoor’s character with such ease that you really don’t feel he’s trying to become something else. In addition he has to hold ground in front of a performer like Sunny Deol who in his short peak in the 90s has left quite a mark, and Arjun surely does hold his ground well in those sequences and doesn’t get overshadowed one bit. As for Sunny Deol, it’s great to see the actor being used in a role that is made for him, that of a man fighting for truth and justice. It’s these intense types of roles that are tailor made for him. His time does not have to be over just yet, but writers these days simply need to better learn how to utilise the talents of Indian cinema. Coming to Sagarika Ghatke and Udita Goswami. Both the young ladies sadly don’t contribute too much to the film. Sagarika is there for a larger portion of the film but doesn’t get to showcase much of her talent simply because of the nature of her role. In addition her voice was surely dubbed creating a barrier between her and the audience that simply was irritating! As for Udita Goswami, the girl really needs to figure out what she wants from her career because roles like these, which disappear half way through the film, are really not going to take her anywhere!
All in all Deepak Tijori does put forward quite a convincing case before the audience with only a few undermining pieces of evidence such as flaws in dialogues, screenplay and performances of his leading ladies but overarching all that is pressing and influential evidences of an impressive film such as the performance of Arjun Rampal and the intriguing script of the film which makes Fox something to watch. If you’re one who’d like to sit back with a nice intense and intelligent drama that as well as entertaining proves to be not a complete waste of time than Fox is tailor made for you!