Crime thrillers are engaging and often edge-of-the-seat experiences that do not necessarily have great performances. The first requirement of such a film is that all the characters – from the suspects to the law enforcers – need to be convincing. A remake of the Korean thriller ‘Blind’ (2011), originally remade as the Tamil ‘Netrikann‘, which streamed on Disney+ Hotstar in 2021, the Sonam Kapoor-headlined film centres around a blind police officer in search of a serial killer. What’s unusual is fashionista Sonam Kapoor essaying the role of tough cop Gia, who is seen shooting a bullseye at a firing range.
Not that professional actors can’t play roles that demand a complete departure from their screen image; what is important for them is to get under the skin of the character without retaining any traces of their erstwhile screen appearances.
Set in Glasgow, Gia (Sonam Kapoor) is a hard-nosed police officer who loses her sight in an accident. Though not everyone is happy about her rejoining the force, she is determined to make good use of her no-nonsense attitude. As luck would have it, she runs into a serial killer.
For her, two people mean the world to her: the woman (Lillitte Dubey) who raised her in an orphanage and her loyalist dog Elsaa. When Gia unsuspectingly discovers a crime, she is also trapped but manages to save herself in the nick of time from getting abducted. She becomes the sole witness to a heinous crime and unwittingly enters a game of cat and mouse with a dangerous criminal.
And then ensues a deadly chase of one trying to outdo the other as the serial killer appears to be smarter than Gia. Or, at other times, Gia proves to be far, far faster and sharper than the criminal. It is a lot of fun to watch even if you know who the killer is, and in a way, support Gia and her moves to outdo him.
There are other characters thrown in to keep the suspense alive. Also a part of the narrative are a doctor (Purab Kohli), who keeps tabs on Gia, and an investigator (Vinay Pathak) who is always ready to help her in her efforts. She must now summon every ounce of courage to rebuild her life, and in this she gets support from Nikhil (Shubham Saraf), who is an eye-witness to a crucial kidnap.
This one is almost a frame-to-frame copy of the Tamil version, which in turn, was a faithful adaptation of the Korean original. Sadly, the similarity ends there. But the film doesn’t have enough suspenseful moments to keep the interest of the audience alive.
Despite being mounted on a lavish scale, the film leaves you somewhat cold. Sonam Kapoor tries hard to be effective, but because of the poor writing can’t infuse enough fire into a dull script.
Among her co-stars, Vinay Pathak, as desi Old Fox, breathes some life into the proceedings, Kohli as a doctor who has a past, keeps a deadpan expression throughout. Shubham Saraf is passable and Dubey, a fine actor, doesn’t have much to showcase her talent. Too much time is wasted in developing the oddities of the characters mainly with the purpose of confusing the viewers.
The pace of the film slackens and it fails to leave any tension for the audience. The plot seems forcibly entangled in contrivances that don’t lead to a conclusive finish.
Gairik Sarkar’s camerawork should be credited for the light and dark play of colours that are a must to evoke the nosiness and prying nature of both the sleuths and the audience. If the job of composers Clinton Cerejo and Brianca Gomes was to forewarn you of the impending disaster, they strike the perfect notes with their fast-moving energetic strains of music, evoking curiosity, anxious trepidation and momentary excitement.
Direction: Shome Makhija
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Purab Kohli, Vinay Pathak, Lillete Dubey
Duration: 124 minutes
–By Arnab Banerjee