Starring: Aftab Shivdasani, Celina Jaitley & Amrita Arora
Director: Vikram Bhatt
After the critical acclaim of last year’s Ankahee, audiences expected a fair amount from Vikram Bhatt’s next. However, Red is definitely a big step down from Ankahee as far as the story is concerned.
Red is the story of Neel (Aftab Shivdasani), a young, handsome upper class businessman whose life is filled with loneliness. What’s worse is that Neel has a heart condition that only can be cured with a heart transplant. By God’s grace Neel finds a donor and is granted a second life. After the successful operation, Neel finds the family of his donor and a whole new story unravels.
Anahita (Celina Jaitley) is the wife of Neel’s donor, a grieving widow that is enveloped in total loneliness and despair. When they meet, Anahita soon confides in Neel regarding the death of her husband, revealing that it was a murder rather than a car accident. She tells Neel about her fear that her husband’s killer will soon come for her. Eventually, the two become romantically involved and for the first time Neel finds a reason to live. Completely lost in her love, Neel is prepared to do anything for her. Anahita suspects that her best friend Ria (Amrita Arora) was having an affair with her husband and that she might have been the murderer. Thus begins a journey of murder, betrayal and love.
As for the performances, Red clearly belongs to Aftab 100%! The actor takes another huge leap. Hence, once again making audiences question Indian filmmakers as to why we don’t see him more often and in better films. He pulls off the role of Neel with complete ease and maturity. It’s almost impossible to believe that he was the same heroine-crazy kid that debuted in Mast. Surprisingly, his voice also does justice to his character which makes one wonder why it required dubbing in Kasoor and Ankahee. Here’s an open plea to the Indian film industry, please showcase this talent and potential more often!
Celina Jaitley isn’t able to do justice to such a demanding role. What on earth was Vikram Bhatt thinking when he casted her in such an important and huge role? She lacks the maturity and dialogue delivery skills. She is bearable in mellow scenes; however, in intense emotional and dramatic scenes her dialogue delivery is appalling. A clear miscast.
Amrita Arora gets no scope. Brief scenes throughout the movie and perhaps a significant chunk in the climax sequence are all she has. Still, she isn’t believable as the overly flirty, spontaneous and free thinking Ria. Her suspicious scenes in which the audience is meant to feel that she is somewhat villainous are particularly dreadful.
The music of Red isn’t of much significance. Most are background songs which was a clever choice as lip singing would not have suited the genre at all. ‘Aafreen’ is the most decent track but otherwise it’s just another annoying Himesh album. There isn’t much choreography in the song sequences because they are all storyline-based.
Red’s dialogue writer needs to be advised that making the characters speak a random line of English doesn’t make them modern, advanced or cool. Instead, it sounds tacky and lame. The same line would have been twice as effective if spoken in Hindi.
On the whole, Red is clearly a disappointment after some intriguing promos. The movie has nothing special to offer apart from a mind blowing performance by Aftab. All filmmakers who are in casting stages check out this fine actor who is absolutely underrated. A predictable climax and storyline leaves the viewer unengaged. It doesn’t make you tear your hair out but it’s definitely not something you’d want to re-watch.
A must-watch for Aftab fans, but apart from that nothing can save Red from being a flop and an utter disappointment.