By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Film: "Aksar"; Director: Ananth Mahadevan; Cast: Dino Morea, Emran Hashmi, Udita Goswami and Tara Sharma; Rating: **
So you think Ananth Mahadevan can only make candy floss musicals? After "Dil Vil Pyar Vyar" and "Dil Mange More", he moves towards a dark film that has no bearing on real life, no signs and crosses leading to a neat and compatible finale.
It is just a series of aesthetically mounted scenes that could leave you with a question beyond those boundaries of a whodunit - what is the point Mr. Mahadevan?
Especially after "Rang De Basanti", we do want to see a point to our mainstream entertainment.
On that level, "Aksar" often comes to a dead end, and that has nothing to do with Emran Hashmi, surely the most freakish 'star' ever devised for the potboiler machinery, ending up stone-cold murdered on the floor of the British mansion - pronounced 'mention' by the film's churlish heroine.
"Aksar" or shall we say, quite often, Mahadevan's British ambience seems to suggest more intrigue and suspense visually than it eventually delivers creatively.
The characters in this 'lust' triangle are so bereft of any native charm and integrity that you wonder why we have to bear them in the first place. The leading lady, Sheena (Udita Goswami), screams, rants and fornicates under the same roof as her suave and cool tycoon husband Rajvir (Dino Morea).
Unlike other recent adulteresses on-screen like Mallika Sherawat in "Murder" or Kareena Kapoor in "Bewafaa", you hate Udita's hysterical hoax wife act, and probably because she looks and behaves like a cross-dressing strip-dancer from Bangkok.
Emran's bullish Casanova act is even more irksome. He thrives on hard-selling his bratty persona to the audience and by kissing his way through a celluloid passion play.
The saving grace is Dino. Suave, restrained and blessedly free of the hammy mode, Dino brings an urbane cool to this film about ebony postures in dark chambers.
Whispers and moans in the dark are all very well. But the purposeless preening of the cast that's captured in flattering silhouettes conveys nothing about their supposedly turbulent inner-world.
By the time the whodunit is resolved, you are beyond caring. These spoilt rich people deserve the chic hell that's created for them.
Bollywood.com Rating: 2