Cinevista : Fear is the key

Rabindra Pokharel


Do you have a penchant for the morbid and the macabre? Are you fond of films with a dash of supernatural psychobabble, rhymes like “Ten Little Niggers” and storylines like Agatha Christie’s ‘N or M’? Well, you better if you decide to buy a ticket for Kaal and sit through this flick!

The film begins with the Khans, Shah Rukh and Malaika Arora making their guest appearances

in the item song, the only song in the cinema that takes place in the sane, human world. The scene then shifts abruptly to Jim Corbett National Park, which is rife with stories of weird disappearances of tourists and researchers, all of whom are presumed devoured by man-eating tigers (quite original, that!). On the other hand, with just 5,000 tigers left worldwide, wild life conservationists are equally concerned with tigers being enlisted in one of their

“endangered” lists (was there a clue somewhere?). Concerns intensify and wild life conservationist Krish Thapar (John Abraham), accompanied by his photographer wife Riya (Esha Deol), is assigned Project Save The Tiger. Presently, another group including Dev (Vivek Oberoi) and girlfriend (Lara Dutta) join them. Ultimately, it is a group of six who find themselves targeted by “the unknown”. But hope beckons when a villager, Kali Pratap Singh (Ajay Devgan), extends his hand of help to the group. So now we have the entire cast cast into this seemingly unstoppable and unending “whirlpool of horror”.

Of course, there is a lot of suspense and, of course, you would want to keep watching because you must know what happens to the characters because by now you would be bonding with some of them at some level or the other, but that’s only natural! What disappoints is the shoddy denouement of the tale. The film marks the transition of Dharma Productions from social dramas to the genre of the thriller and is the directorial debut of Soham Shah. The treatment of the script is commendable, though, and Shah makes brilliant use of special effects to hold on to his audience bored by the empty storyline. A job well done by John Abraham who’s entered the “Thriller” genre since his last appearance as a felon in ‘Dhoom’. Vivek with his stolid, handsome looks, is the perfect choice for adventurous roles.

The film would be a big time embarrassment for Ajay Devgan, though, who hardly fits his role (it’s just outrageous!). But, of course, eye candies Lara Dutta and Esha Deol would be there with him to share his sadness. (Kaal, Cast: Ajay Devgan, John Abraham, Vivek Oberoi, Esha Deol, and Lara Dutta, Diection: Soham Shah, Music: Salim Sulaiman, Showing at: Jai Nepal)