Friday, March 12, 2010

Film review: Right Ya Wrong

Starring: Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Isha Koppikar, Deepal Shaw
Director: Neeraj Phatak
Stars: **1/2

There is nothing particularly odd when underserving films get hyped to no end and ultimately turn out to be unmitigated disasters. But more unfortunate is when decent fares go unnoticed because they are either poorly publicised or no effort goes into making their promos exciting. It happened with Rocket Singh last year, where an endearing film suffered on account of poor promotions. Right Ya Wrong is no great film, but it's quite watchable - thanks to a taut script and the presence of Irrfan Khan, who turns in a wonderful performance again. However, bad promos and a curious combination of actors ( Irrfan and Konkona starring alongside Sunny Deol and Isha Koppikar!), may not give it the kick-start it could have otherwise got.
Neeraj Pathak directed the forgettable Gumnaam in 2005, but he has also been the screenplay writer of successful films such as Apne and Pardes. That probably explains how he got Subhash Ghai to distribute the film and Sunny Deol to star in it.

Right Ya Wrong is a crime thriller, that borrows its basic plot from both the 1973 Vinod Khanna starrer Achanak and the Sanjeev Kumar-Sarika murder mystery, Qatl (1986).

Ajay Shridhar (Sunny Deol) and Vinay Patnaik (Irrfan Khan) are brave cops who share a warm equation. In a particular shoot-out that is otherwise successful, Sunny Deol gets injured and his legs are paralysed. This is when he learns about his wife's (Isha Koppikar) long-time affair with his step-brother (Aarav Chawdhury). Angry and hurt, Ajay incites them to murder him saying he has lost the will to live. He promises them a fool-proof plan that would not only keep them safe, but also enable them to avail of the insurance money. Secretly thrilled, both of them agree. But there's a twist to the crime. Things are not what they seem to be, and the only person able to detect this is Vinay. The whole world, including his lawyer sister, Vidya (Konkona) think he's acting in bad faith, leaving him alone to fight for what he believes is right.

The film starts quite badly, with a lame item number picturised on Isha. The music by Monty is terrible. Also, it's painful to see some of the minor characters hamming it up. But once Irrfan comes on screen, all seems well with the world again. The actor is terrific and lends the film its much-needed edge. There's a scene where Konkona slams him in court saying his actions reveal his jealousy. It pains Irrfan, but once back home, the sister-brother duo exchange an awkward affection that explains how their actions are driven by their believes, not malice. The Irrfan-Sunny pairing is a bit odd. And even though Sunny manages an effective, understated performance, somehow these two don't seem to belong to the same world. Isha does her job well and Konkona shines in all the court scenes.

More than the suspense element, it is the impressive study of character in the film that is interesting. It recogonises that often it is our preference for people or lack of it that colours our judgment of what is right or wrong, fair or unfair. For some of these reasons, Right Ya Wrong certainly won't be the wrong choice.

Sandhya Iyer


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