EK - THE POWER OF ONE takes you back to the cinema of yore. A criminal gets reformed when showered with love and affection from the parivaar. Recall the Meena Kumari - Rajesh Khanna starrer DUSHMAN. EK - THE POWER OF ONE isn't DUSHMAN, but it belongs to the same family.
In actuality, EK - THE POWER OF ONE is the Hindi remake of a super-successful Telugu film ATHADU, which starred Mahesh Babu as the criminal and Prakash Raj as the cop.
A subject like EK - THE POWER OF ONE packs just about everything that pleases the hoi polloi. There's a really big parivaar [emotional quotient], a childhood sweetheart [romance], a joke-cracking cop [light moments], a double crosser friend who's hand-in-glove with a politician [drama] and loads and loads and loads of action.
EK - THE POWER OF ONE isn't new-age cinema by any standards, but it holds your interest at several points, especially the penultimate 20 minutes. It's strictly for those in a mood to catch a mass entertainer.
Nandu [Bobby Deol] is an orphan. Opposition leader Anna Mhatre [Sachin Khedekar] hires Nandu to assassinate him, while he is addressing a rally for his election campaign. But just before Nandu is able to lock his target, another shot is fired, leading to the cold blooded murder of Anna Mhatre. Nandu is shocked; he manages to make an escape by leaping onto a running train.
On the train Nandu meets Puran [Akshay Kapoor], a simple boy from Punjab who is returning back to his homeland after a long gap. Puran, in his excitement of returning to his family after so long, narrates his side of the story to Nandu.
The police, however, have not given up their trail on Nandu and when the train halts at the next station, Nandu discovers this. An officer spots Nandu and aims a shot at him which accidentally hits Puran, who dies on the spot. By the time the police converge into the compartment, they find Nandu missing.
Nandu decides to come to Puran's house to break the news of his tragic demise, but Nandu is mistaken for Puran. Nandu now starts living with the family as its own member. He experiences love, care, pain and goes through a lot many emotions as he is showered by so much love from all within the family. He bonds the most with the grandfather [Kulbhushan Kharbanda] and the eldest bua [Zareena Wahab]. Gradually, he also falls in love with Preet [Shriya Saran].
The case of Anna Mhatre's assassin is heating up and a special officer from the CBI, Insp. Rane [Nana Patekar], is given the responsibility of this case. Insp. Rane has his own unique way of functioning and his investigation leads him to Punjab to Puran's house where he meets Nandu. Will Nandu be able to come out of the crisis?
Stamped as a director of comedies [KYAA KOOL HAI HUM and APNA SAPNA MONEY MONEY], director Sangeeth Sivan takes you back to the 1970s era with EK - THE POWER OF ONE. The hero jumps from an under-construction skyscraper straight onto a moving train. In another sequence, he fights a bunch of villains single-handedly and doesn't get bruised even once. The mainstay of the film is action [Peter Hein]. The action scenes are stylish and the crisp editing and effects only enhance the impact.
On the flip side, the dramatic and romantic portions are weak. The emotional moments just don't work, while the romance between Bobby and Shriya is half-baked. Ramji's cinematography is just right. Dialogues are witty at times, but crude at places.
Nana plays to the gallery. The front-benchers should like him. Bobby carries the intense look with ease. Also, the action-oriented role suits him. Shriya gets minimal scope. Kulbhushan Kharbanda is theatrical. Jackie Shroff, Chunkey Pandey and Zareena Wahab are wasted. Raghubir Yadav does well. Pradeep Kharab [Bobby's friend] is a welcome addition to the ranks of talented newcomers.
On the whole, EK - THE POWER OF ONE is age-old masala with new packaging. It's more for the Hindi belt than the metros. Business at single screens should be better, while multiplexes might be weak.
Bollywood.com Rating: 3