Red Movie Review
Film: “Red”; Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Celina Jaitley, Amrita Arora, Sushant Singh; Director: Vikram Bhatt; Rating: *
She’s a widow, though not the weeping kind. He needs a change of heart, though not in the way you would expect him to.
Aftab Shivdasani, muscles pumped up, tattoo on forearm and scowl in place, plays a man so out of touch with reality that he actually thinks he could woo and bed the widow of the man whose heart has been transplanted into his body.
This is Vikram Bhatt’s rather startling attempt at a noire thriller. Can’t say why it’s called “Red” unless you’re looking at a man who sees red every time the slinky widow passes by.
Bhatt gets a chance to look into lives that are as star-crossed as they are unable to control their primeval urges. True to its noire genre, “Red” is shot mostly in the rain and in dark interiors lit up with a passion play that’s largely supported by Himesh Reshammiya’s pounding tracks.
The first-half of this blessedly brief movie moves at a fairly frisky pace. But the narrative runs out of breath, leaving you looking at a film that’s high on moods but pretty low in terms of credibility.
Sushant Singh as a cop investigating a murder hardly gives the plot the hand-up that he’s expected to. His two buffoon-like deputies seem straight out of an age-old detective thriller.
Bhatt aims for a bizarre kind of eroticism where the characters cease to be people and are instead projected as emblems of greed, lust and melancholy.
There’s just a scattering of characters supporting the lovers at the centre who play a game of hearts with a ruthless ruggedness that makes them as prone to self-destruction as it makes them impervious to conventional relationships and behaviour.
Tragically the actors fail to rise to the call of the heart’s thundering fall. Aftab takes the fall the hardest. The film is almost a showcase for him to display a variety of emotions. He goes through the emotions from A to B … and that’s about it.
Celina Jaitley as the fidgety femme fatale seems like a shriller, more hyper version of Esha Deol in Bhatt’s last film “Ankahee”. Poor Amrita Arora is allowed no space in the narrative.
The slippery world of lust and treachery lets the characters and finally the film down. What you see is certainly not what you get in this thriller about two people who deserve each other.