Fenil and Bollywood

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Nikhil Advani resorts to ‘recruit screening’ to ensure his next production isn’t a turkey like Salaam-e-Ishq and CCTC
By Mumbai Mirror Bureau (July 16, 2009)

Nikhil Advani

After going wrong twice at the box-office with Salaam-e-Ishq and Chandni Chowk to China, Nikhil Advani is an older, sadder and wiser man. And like all wise men he has found the star to follow, except that in his case, the star does not lead to a stable and a new born but to random adults.

He has discovered ‘recruit screenings’, an age-old concept in Hollywood. This is, simply put, about hiring a market research company to put together a random audience comprising mainly of the age and demographic group your film is aimed at, showing them the film and getting their feedback on the said film.

And so, a couple of weeks ago Nikhil, playing producer, and Milap Jhaveri, the director handed over their baby Jaane Kahan Se Aayee Hai to the market researchers, IMRB, who showed the film to 426 random adults to gauge their reaction to the film.

While the positive responses warmed the cockles of their collective hearts, what is more important is that they took due note of the negatives and even scheduled an extra two-day shoot to take care of what the respondents said was missing. Also, the climax scene which had been kept to the minimum has been expanded in keeping with the replies they received.

Chandni Chowk To China

Taking this many steps further, Nikhil has now decided to distribute the script of his next film Patiala House to some people and get their reaction to it. Acutely aware that this is his third and last chance to get it right and another failure would result in everyone forgetting that he had ever made the successful Kal Ho Naa Ho, Nikhil is obviously a convert to the old adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’.


Suspense thrillers have always been a hot favourite for filmmakers across the world. If executed well, it can work wonders provided it has a nice plot. But if the filmmaker doesn’t succeed in doing justice, the film fails miserably. 8×10 Tasveer falls in between the two-while some of the sequences are interesting, some of the portions towards the end fails to work and in fact, goes above the head!

The story of the movie: Jai Puri (Akshay Kumar) works as a forest ranger in EPS (Environmental Protection Services). He has a supernatural power-he can see the past of a person through his photograph. His father Jatin Puri (Benjamin Gilani) dies in an accident in his private boat. Jai never appreciated his father’s way of running his business and therefore stayed separately with his girlfriend Sheela (Ayesha Takia). Meeting a private detective Habibulla Pasha aka Happi (Javed Jaaferi), Jai realizes that his father’s death was not an accident-it was a planned murder. All those present in the boat during the accident were the suspects which include Jai’s mother Savitri (Sharmila Tagore), Lawyer Anil Sharma (Girish Karnad), Jatin’s brother Sundar (Anant Mahadevan) and Adit (Rushad Rana). Jai then decides to use his supernatural powers to get to the bottom of this incident and comes up with startling facts!

The beginning portions were strictly okay. It is also only after Jaaved Jaaferi’s entry that things turn interesting in the film. The scenes where Jai goes into the photograph and discovers a terrible secret is worth watching. Most importantly, these scenes were technically brilliant. Jai being chased by the murderer was another cool scene of the first half. Nagesh succeeds in keeping the viewer’s engrossed in the 2nd half too.

The disclosure of the identity of the murderer comes as a bolt from the blue. Many are of the view that the motive of the murderer was most illogical. Although it was little stupid, it doesn’t seem indigestible. Also, things take such a turn at this juncture that one doesn’t get the time to think of logic/sense. But what was most foolish was the reason behind the existence of Jai’s supernatural powers! As for the climax, it was little predictable too.

tasveer31Akshay Kumar comes up with a sincere performance. Many have accused him of playing the same type of roles and I have failed to understand how anyone can say like this. Take a look at his last 6 films (CC2C, Singh Iss Kinng, Tashan, Welcome, Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Heyy Babyy) and in each of these films, he came up with good performances and none of the roles were similar to the other. In 8×10 Tasveer, he essays a character which he haven’t played before and does full justice to it. Unfortunately, the film has flopped. Hopefully, his next, Kambakkth Ishq, should be a hit.

Ayesha Takia Azmi as usual looks great and performs perfectly. Jaaved Jaaferi steals the show with his funny act! Let’s hope we get to see him only in comic roles and not in films like Shaurya! Anant Mahadevan was too good. Rushad Rana (who played Gul Panag’s husband in Dor) was excellent. Sharmila Tagore, Girish Karnad and Benjamin Gilani do a good job.

Music was strictly okay. Only the song ‘Nazaara Hai’ is worth listening. However, the background score by Salim-Sulaiman was excellent. Vikas Shivraman’s cinematography was eye-catching!

Nagesh Kukunoor deserves a pat on the back for making films of different genres. Most filmmakers become experts in making particular kind of films and refuse to come out of their ‘comfort zone’. But here’s a man who has the courage and risk-taking ability to do something new and different from his previous films. Coming to 8×10 Tasveer, the beginning portions were little uninteresting and looked unconvincing. As a director and screenwriter, Nagesh tried his best to create tension before the killer is unveiled. However, as a writer, he could have definitely done a much better job, especially while writing Jai’s past. Better luck next time, Mr Kukunoor!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Jai meeting Happi for the 1st time
2.   Jai trying to find out what happened on the boat through his powers (well-shot scenes!)
3.   Jai chasing Sundar
4.   The killer chasing Jai
5.   Adit confronting Jai
6.   The killer with Savitri (cool scene!)
7.   The killer unveiled

On the whole, 8×10 Tasveer is a one-time watch. The climax may disappoint many but the film may manage to impress many audiences. Since no A-grade Hindi film is gonna release for the next 3-4 weeks, watching this film on a weekend for some timepass will be no harm!

My rating-*** out of 5!