By Taran Adarsh Bollywood Hungama News Network
Myth: NEW YORK is about 9/11.
Fact: It's not. But it reflects the mood that's prevalent across the globe, post 9/11. The world is divided today. No two opinions on that!
Myth: NEW YORK bears a striking similarity to KHUDA KAY LIYE.
Fact: Nope. KHUDA KAY LIYE and NEW YORK may belong to the same family, of an innocent person being picked up for questioning after the WTC catastrophe, but the similarities end there. In fact, KHUDA KAY LIYE and NEW YORK are as diverse as chalk and cheese.
NEW YORK, helmed by Kabir Khan, attempts to be as real as possible. A tale of friendship, with terrorism as the wallpaper, NEW YORK hits you like a ton of bricks at several points in the narrative. In fact, there was a possibility that NEW YORK may turn out to be a dry experience, a documentary perhaps, but the drama is so well structured and so gripping that you get sucked into the world of Sam, Omar and Maya from its inception.
NEW YORK is a triumph for Kabir Khan, who deserves distinction marks for handling the subject with remarkable maturity. Also, this film should be a turning point for John, Katrina and Neil. More on that later...
The verdict? NEW YORK is, without doubt, one of the finest films produced by this premier production house, Yash Raj. Grab a ticket today!
Omar [Neil Nitin Mukesh] has gone abroad for the first time in his life and soon enough, he begins to see and love America through the eyes of his American friends, Sam [John Abraham] and Maya [Katrina Kaif]. But an incident changes the world round them.
At this point enters Agent Roshan [Irrfan], an FBI agent, who sets the ball rolling for a series of tumultuous events that turn the lives of these friends upside down.
NEW YORK affects you like no other Hindi film has done so far [on 9/11]. In fact, there are portions that give you goose bumps, especially towards the second half of the film, when John recounts his past.
One of the reasons why NEW YORK works is because not once does Kabir Khan borrow from the past or tilt towards predictable stuff. You just can't guess what and where the story is headed and what the culmination would be. The director and his team of writers establish the plot and characters beautifully, but the real action is reserved for the second half. The nightmarish experience that John undergoes is disturbing, but lifts the film several notches up.
But NEW YORK has its share of loose ends. The film dips in the second hour. It tends to gets lengthy before it reaches a powerful, brilliantly executed climax. Also, a few sequences only add to the length of the film, which could've been curtailed in the writing stage itself.
Director Kabir Khan picks up a real incident -- innocent civilians being suspected as terrorists, soon after 9/11 -- and weaves a brilliant tale around it. The screenplay is its biggest star, without a doubt. Given the fact that NEW YORK isn't one of those routine masala fares, Kabir has injected songs only when required. Cinematography is striking.
Now here's another surprise. John, Katrina and Neil, all actors, deliver their career-best performance. If the first half belongs to Neil, John takes over the second hour completely. John is superb when he recalls the past. You can feel his pain, that effective is his performance. Also, note his expressions towards the end. This is a different John, for sure. Just one word for his performance -- fabulous!
Neil was remarkable in JOHNNY GADDAAR, but disappointed in AA DEKHEN ZARA. Fortunately, he's in top form this time around. Katrina gives you the biggest surprise. Known for her glamour roles, Katrina proves that she can deliver if the director and writer offer her a role of substance. She's outstanding. In fact, people will see a new, different Katrina this time. Irrfan is, as always, first-rate.
On the whole, NEW YORK is amongst the finest films produced by Yash Raj. At the box office, there's no stopping this one. Go for it now!
Bollywood.com Rating: 4