Director: Mani Shankar
Producer: Sudhish Rambotla
Banner: Color Chips Entertainment & Media Limited
Cast: Sameer Dattani, Sunil Shetty, Om Puri, Rahul Dev, Jackie Shroff, Raima Sen, Sushant Singh, Alok Nath,Raj Zutshi, Kelly Dorjee
An over-wrought, over-done, and melodramatic tale
It is a brave subject and does not patronise or sermonise. A story of an informer and his identity crisis, his struggle with his real self and his personal victories and losses, Mukhbir attempts to recreate a young man’s dilemmas while he is caught between who he is and who he is going to be next.
While this explanation might sound fascinating, lots of things do, written down, and the script of Mukhbir perhaps must be too. Because as much as it tries to deliver a hard-hitting, gut-wrenching saga of crime and punishment, loyalties and betrayals and some more, it ends up being an over-wrought, over-done and melodramatic tale that is much less inspiring than worth an introspection.
Samir Dattani plays the central character of an informer, the Mukhbir in question, who is caught in the professional hazards of his job. He has a mentor, protective father figure in Om Puri, who is the Superintendent of Police and for whom he works exclusively. A mission to a Don’s house in Hyderabad connected to a big name in the world of international terrorism leads to his cracking a bomb attack the terrorist is planning. Numerous set ups and manipulations, trials and tribulations does the Mukhbir go through to eventually crack it. The threat is enormous, the director builds suspense, the shock of revelation and the ensuing punishments, the constant hanging thread of being found out before mission completion, and the sheer danger involved. It is precisely through this build up that he can convey the imminent dangers his Mukhbir faces day in and day out.
To say Director Mani Shankar does not create a valid atmosphere is false. He uses optimum photography, lights up his shots eerie even depressing, some mood lighting and efficient camera work that plays with light and dark constantly to and the establish the rawness of hard-core crime and naked death. He uses a slow and steady pattern of cutting his shots, giving them more moods and a tempo more deadly than racy.
The noble intentions of the film are severely hampered by a long-winded screenplay that tries to pack in too much. The constant meanderings of Kailash’s circumstances, the numerous changes and dangers drive the point home too many times, and come across as unnecessary.
Another unnecessary aspect of the film is Raima Sen who sashays in and out of the film, leaving one bewildered at her very motive. She plays the love-interest of Kailash who brings in some freshness to his otherwise morbid life and walks out of it in an extremely confounding way.
The film has low production values; a roughly put-together cast it and an execution that is unnatural, amateurish, and over-the-top even while trying hard to be subtle. Even though it tries to express a statement that is immense in its psychological and philosophical implications it remains narrow in its attempts and inferior in what it manages to achieves, which is not much.