Film Review: Apne

Film: Apne

Director: Anil Sharma

Producer: Rahul Sugandh and Sangeeta Ahir

Cast: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kirron Kher, Shilpa Shetty, Katrina Kaif, Aryan Vaid, Victor Banerjee, Divya Dutta

Rating: 3.5/5
The dictionary describes the term family as a fundamental social group in society, typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.

In a country such as ours, bestowed with a rich culture and values passed on through generations,  the term family takes a new meaning altogether. Apne is the pronunciation of this meaning of family and what it means to be conferred with one.

Every family member watches out for the other, that’s the thought Baldev Singh (Dharmendra) leads his life by. After an unsuccessful career in boxing, convicted of doping charges, he asks his son Angad (Sunny Deol) to make him proud in the ring. But Angad refuses, as he opts for an alternative career. This refusal comes at a cost, that of hostility between father and son.

With a great offer to reclaim his honour, Baldev begins coaching Gaurav (Aryan Vaid). All is well till he too deserts him for another coach. Shattered and completely out of control, Baldev’s rescue vehicle is none other than his younger son Karan (Bobby Deol), who recuperates from  a paralysed hand. With coaching sessions in full swing, it is up to Karan to salvage his father’s honour. What follows is a series of unfortunate events and the re-discovery of familial bonds. A family torn by tension discovers what it means having each other around.

To begin with, the concept of family that is so bound to our being, is also intertwined throughout the film. Without going overboard in trying to state a point, the plot discovers the bond extremely well. The characters are not mundane (there are always exceptions), neither is their feeling. The characters are well carved and executed with simplicity, they become easy to associate with. The nitty gritty of the relationships are well brought out and with a good background to each character, they are granted a good amount pf depth.

The fact that the three male leads are related by blood, makes it all the more compelling. The chemistry they share is highlighted right through the film.

The camerawork and cinematography are deserving of praise. Each moment is well captured and with the captured emotions flowing, you can’t help but join in sharing it. The dialogues too are worked upon well.

While the filters heighten emotions and are used well in the pertinent scenes, it is the inconsistency that disheartens. The need to fuse them and create one magnanimous movie that is flawless is unseen. Even the editing, though good in most parts, seems edgy at times. Moreover, the humour attacks that are rarely seen through the film also seem forced. It is as though in an constant effort to calm one down and liven up the atmosphere around, but it doesn’t really help as the emotions are already thrust onto you.

In a film that is about family, one seldom one needs to act. The emotions you feel are real and that is precisely what one sees in the eyes of the Deol trio. They all manage to put up great performances. However of the three, only Bobby in the few minutes he essays his role with a paralyzed left arm, seems unconvincing. Soon, with both arms functional again, he gets into form. Shetty essays her character with panache and is adorable. Kher, as Baldev’s wife and the moral support, is very persuasive.  The few minutes Dutta, Vaid and Kaif are allowed to perform, they do well. Banerjee, though present in most parts of the film, fails to spark the magic he usually conjures.

Business at the box office should be good. With mixed reactions, expect it to do well phenomenally in certain centers and cities, and moderately in a few others. Good and strong word of mouth publicity will strengthen its collection capabilities.
With Apne, chances are you will walk out of the theatre and hug your family and tell them their worth. This one dose of entertainment is recommended.