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Elaan



"Elaan" ... the Hollywood influence is obvious.

TAKE A Bond kind of film — put in all ingredients like exotic locales, well shot chases, good looking protagonists, a pencil slim story line and some skin showing gyrating, sensual song picturisations and you get "Elaan."

Vikram Bhatt is plainly enamoured of Hollywood films on espionage and vendetta. Only he has never shied away from this fact as he plans most of his films with the slickness and feel of a western theme peppered with Bollywood elements. And "Elaan" does not disappoint on this aspect.

He certainly has an eye for technical finesse and special effects. And to give the devil its due, puts it to good use. Car chases, gun fights, explosions amidst serene, white snow have all been done so well that you tend to ignore the clichéd dialogue and raucous sounds that the good men make while attacking the evil guys.

Baba is an international criminal wanted by five countries and has committed all possible crimes and lives in Europe to escape the law of these countries. And he is high on the list of wanted criminals in India. Which is how the story starts.

Kantilal Shah, mega rich and famous, is the target of Baba's demands for Rs 20 crores. Give the money or get a bullet through the head. At this time, Shah's son Karan (Rahul Khanna) returns from America to solve this problem. And his hostile sister insists that no matter what, they should cough up the money or they will kill her beloved father. The hostility arises from the fact that Karan is Shah's adopted son! Karan convinces his father not to give in, for it might inspire others to do the same, but to take Baba head on.

The result? Shah is brutally shot and predictably Karan vows to avenge this death and put an end to this reign of terror by Baba. His challenge? To bring Baba back to India to be tried for his crimes.

With motives for the film to proceed and for the action (action sequences - Abbas Ali Moghul) to begin, Karan has to find others who will assist him in this task. He hones in on Arjun (Arjun Rampal), an ex-policeman (his pregnant wife was killed by such gangsters leaving behind a baby), who brings in Abhimanyu (John Abraham). Abhimanyu has been double-crossed by Baba and is now in jail. But he has to be freed first. And that is a well done sequence even though the idea comes from another English film.

Also joining the team are Priya (Amisha Patel) and Abhimanyu's girlfriend Sonia (Lara Dutta).

Mithun Chakraborty makes a comeback in this film. He looks really old and tired and makes for a most unconvincing international criminal. Rahul Khanna, normally such a good actor, does a lousy job as the vengeful Karan. Arjun Rampal is good as the ex-cop with his lean and quiet demeanour, while John Abraham steals the show with his nonchalance laced with brashness.

CHITRA MAHESH

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