Cast: Himesh Reshammiya, Irrfan Khan, Sonali Raut, Zoya Afroz, Honey Singh,
Director: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan
To explore the dark side of Bollywood in the 60s when stardom had a different definition and many were disillusioned about it, one needs to dig in really deep. The charming era of vintage cars, beautiful sets, glamour, dirty desires and unique mannerisms of people with a larger-than-life image, is a chapter you only open if you have an honest intention to project it. If not, one needs to stay away from it.
A tough task to be pulled off but director Anant Mahadevan has stuck to a tight script, just under 2 hours of run time, and managed to show some ugly, some beautiful truths of the film industry. What also adds to the whole packaging of the film is the attention to minute detail of that era be it as minute as a ceiling lamp or a pen. R.K studios, a treasure house of antique items, have been credited to supply film cameras of those times for the shoot, shown as props in the film.
‘Xpose’, a musical murder mystery starring Himesh Reshammiya is set in the 60s, following the murder of top actress Zara (Sonali Raut) and the whole maze of who could be the one behind her death. It also traces a journey of another actress, Chandni ( Zoya Afroz) whose rivalry with the other actress helped fill all the juicy columns and boils down to the big day when both their films are released together.
Himesh Reshammiya, in real life, certainly enjoys a lot of fan base being a singer and a music composer but quite rightly has not been spared for his acting capability in the past. However, if one forgives his earlier mistakes and goes with an open mind, the viewer will not be disappointed by the character he plays (Ravi Kumar), inspired by the late actor Raj Kumar.
Here’s why. Himesh has lost more than 20 kgs to play the lead role in the film. While that might not be an answer to lure the audience, on screen, his character instantly looks believable right from the first scene when he enters the graveyard. In terms of acting, he delivers all his dialogues, especially the one-liners, with a lot of conviction. It can be argued that he has the same pitch in many scenes, but this could be also be looked upon as an effort to not over act, something he faced a lot of flak for, in his earlier films.
Talking about one-liners, dialogue writer Bunty Rathore has come up with some gems. Few of them from the film are, Tumhari galti ne meri nazron ne dekha hai par meri yadaash ne nahi or Meri ek sharth hai, mei villain se maar nahi khaunga. There are plenty like these but why it has deserved a mention is because of the tone of the dialogues. It’s loud, authoritative and confident keeping in mind all the traits that the character Ravi Kumar has in the film.
The film has its zone, which is a no brainer. In a stylish sequence one rainy night, when Ravi Kumar takes aim from outside at someone inside a car, the bullet smashes the windscreen and hits its target. But strangely, Ravi's black suit is not drenched!
Honey Singh, playing the role of K.D. (Kenny Damania), has correct comic timing but purely loses out on the character's nuances. One can easily identify him as Yo Yo than the character he is playing who also has a ‘cool dude’ accent.
Irrfan Khan, who plays Alec D’Costa (a black ticket seller), is the anchor of the film. He opens the film introducing the characters and through his narration takes the story ahead with his own unique dialogue delivery. Among the two new girls, Zoya Afroz and Sonali Raut, the latter shows better logic in her acting capabilities.
Ananth Mahadevan plays Subba Prasad, a big director down south has placed himself in may be more scenes than needed. Bobby Chadha’s (Ashwin Dhar) displays an effortless act of being a cruel filmmaker and holds the film on the other side.
In this 2-hour journey, the songs, ‘Dard Dilo Ke’ and ‘Ice Cream Khaungi’ will stay with you even after you walk out from the theaters.
The background music goes well with the intense scenes adding more drama to the plot, which is full of twists towards the end. Himesh version 2.0 as an actor will change your opinion about him.