THIS ONE is a typical offering from the Mahesh Bhatt camp. Plenty of skin, some nice music, some imaginatively shot sequences, some darkness, some blues. And at the end of it all, a film that grows on you gradually, ever so slowly but ultimately leaves you quite happy with the turn of events.
Truth to tell, director Mohit Suri begins on such a tepid note in this love triangle-turned thriller that you wonder why at all did he have to put together a rehash of what we have seen in films like "Jism" and "Murder". Typically, there is Udita Goswami as the neglected wife, falling all over her beau - played with characteristic frown by Emraan Hashmi. Of course, the man is married, and has a wife - Shamita Shetty - who needs attention too. Blast from the past?
But just as you are about to give up on this one as `seen this, heard that' kind of film, Suri surprises you. The film you and I thought was a love triangle with three very average actors in the lead cast, turns into a thriller where one character does not know what the other is up to, whether even the other one is alive or dead! The man is a narcotics chief, his wife a cop. Together they look for clues for the murder of his beloved. She does not know he had one. He does not know when she ceased to be one. Interesting? Quite. More so if you enter the film second half when the director would be through with most of his song-and-dance and sob routine.
"Zeher" is unlikely to be the sweet nectar Udita and company need at the box office. But it is not a film that would deliver the kiss of death to any aspirations of a nice, sweet, if slow film with its quotient of sex and sizzle.
ZIYA US SALAM
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu