Movie Review: Red - The Dark Side ...

By Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM

imageNever

judge a book by its cover. That holds true for films as well. A stylish

promo or a fascinating billboard could raise your expectations and

compel you to rush to a nearby movieplex to watch the film. But, alas!

All that glitters is not gold.

RED – THE DARK SIDE has generated tremendous hype over the weeks due

to its eye-catching promotional teasers. Unfortunately, watching the

film is akin to flying in an aircraft that’s run out of fuel midway. It

starts off well, you are hooked to the goings-on, the game begins… But

the fizz settles down sooner than expected.

What’s wrong with RED – THE DARK SIDE? Plenty of things! Most

importantly, the writing [story-screenplay: Manoj Tyagi] is outright

tacky. It vacillates between komsi-komsa to amateurish to confused.

But the reason why RED – THE DARK SIDE falls like a pack of cards is

because you know that the lady is playing games. You know that she has

a hidden agenda. You know that she’s out to use Mr. Millionaire. You

realize all this because you’ve witnessed similar themes in the

past.

So when the cat is out of the bag, you aren’t shocked. On the

contrary, you break into a big yawn. Also, the way the writer rushes up

things -- demystifying the shadyantra -- you wonder if he knows the

basics of screenplay writing. The climax is the lifeline of any

thriller, but in RED – THE DARK SIDE, the culmination to the story acts

as a spoilsport.

Vikram Bhatt has attempted several thrillers in the past. Films like

KASOOR and RAAZ and even JURM [in parts] were in a different league

altogether. But RED – THE DARK SIDE is his weakest product so far.

Sure, the film is stylishly shot, but style can never substitute for

substance.

To cut a long story short, RED – THE DARK SIDE disappoints!

Neel [Aftab Shivdasani] is a billionaire. Diagnosed with a fatal

heart ailment, Neel’s life comes to a screeching halt. Only a miracle

[heart transplant] can save him. As luck would have it, the doctor

[Kishori Shahane Vij] gets a donor. It’s Anahita’s [Celina Jaitley]

husband, who has died in a road accident.

Anahita is a gorgeous lady. After her husband’s demise, she leads a

lonely life. Neel is drawn into a passionate affair with Anahita.

Suddenly, things take a turn…

Anahita informs Neel that her husband had been murdered. And Ria

[Amrita Arora], Anahita’s best friend, is the culprit. She had an

affair with Anahita’s husband and since she couldn’t marry him, she

decided to eliminate him instead.

Neel murders Ria’s friend Rocky [Amin Hajee], who had murdered

Anahita’s husband. But Neel loses his watch while committing the

gruesome act. The investigation begins and the cop [Sushant Singh] is

on the trail of those who had committed the heinous act.

Anahita now wants Ria out of her way. Neel is ready to commit the

second murder…

Certain stories sound interesting on paper, but run out of steam as

the reels unfold. RED – THE DARK SIDE shows promise as it takes off.

The characters are well established at the very outset. Everything is

going fine. Suddenly, the writer applies brakes. It gets into a

predictable mode. Everything that happens thereafter only takes the

graph of the film down.

Thrillers work for one vital reason. The moviegoer shouldn’t be able

to guess the identity/motive of the killer till the penultimate reel.

In this case, you know that someone’s playing games. The lead man

doesn’t know, but the viewer senses it and that’s why the film falls

off the cliff.

The climax is so silly, so juvenile that you actually want to ask

Vikram Bhatt, how did he okay this kind of inept writing in the first

place?

Vikram Bhatt tries hard to keep the show going, but the substandard

writing proves a roadblock. Himesh Reshammiya’s music is interesting,

but not at par with his earlier works. Without doubt, ‘Aafreen’ is the

pick of the lot. The lip-locks in a couple of songs make the tracks

appear steamy. Pravin Bhatt’s cinematography is eye-catching. The

lighting deserves special mention.

RED – THE DARK SIDE belongs to Aftab Shivdasani, who’s matured into

a dependable actor. Looking suave in formals, the actor has also worked

on his physique by shedding unwanted fat. He handles his part extremely

well. Celina Jaitley is better than her previous films. She looks

alluring and plays a calculating woman with conviction, except for one

particular sequence when she makes a call to Aftab from a phone

booth.

Amrita Arora has no role whatsoever. She’s hardly there. Hello Ms.

Arora, what did you see in this role? Sushant Singh is the atypical cop

we’ve watched in hundreds of Hindi movies before. Kishori Shahane Vij

and Amin Hajee are alright.

On the whole, RED – THE DARK SIDE stands on a weak script. At the

box-office, it stands no chance!

Bollywood.com Rating: 2

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