Shades of rough and tough, but not enough : The Tribune India

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Shades of rough and tough, but not enough

Shades of rough and tough, but not enough

Divya Khossla tries hard to keep the film afloat, but falters at crucial moments.

Film: Savi

Director: Abhinay Deo

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Divya Khossla, Harshvardhan Rane, Mairaj Kakkar, Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop and MK Raina

Parbina Rashid

It can happen only in Bollywood! To retell the mythological story of our own Savitri and Satyavan, it has to borrow the plot of a French film, ‘Pour Elle’ (2008)! But to give credit to director Abhinay Deo, who has given us memorable TV serials like ‘24’ and films like ‘Delhi Belly’, he has flipped the story on its head and makes Savitri, aka Savi, the saviour.

Set in Liverpool, just a few minutes into the happy family scene, we see Nakul Sachdeva (Harshvardhan Rane) getting arrested for the murder of his boss, who often humiliated him at work. His wife, Savi (Divya Khossla), is shocked and helpless. Their minor son Aditya (Mairaj Kakkar) is lost and lonely.

While Nakul maintains that he is innocent and talks about the real murderer whom he had bumped into on the fateful night, circumstantial evidence points at him. He is convicted for life. His life in prison is in danger and Savi takes it upon herself to save her man. After studying many books on jailbreaks, Savi seeks out one of the authors, ex-convict Joydeep aka J Paul (Anil Kapoor), who is an expert in jailbreaks. Savi needs his expertise and Paul, who is suffering from writer’s block, needs both a story and stimulation for his next bestseller. So, they join hands and a plan is hatched. Savi springs into action, arranging fake passports, and killing a couple of crooks while robbing them, covering her trail all the while.

Deo lets his film rest on Khossla’s delicate shoulders and she tries hard to keep it afloat. But her journey from being ‘just a housewife’ to a tough one, who messes with criminals and cops alike, is only as convincing as the storyline. She makes a sincere effort to look the part, but falters in the emotive department. She puts out more emotions than required and less toughness than the situation demands. Rane looks good, and makes things look good for Khossla by remaining in the sidelines. It’s a shame that Deo didn’t make use of his intense looks and acting skills.

The entry of Kapoor adds spark to this otherwise lukewarm drama. Even though he dons atrocious disguises, he has a casual yet confident swagger about him. It’s fun to watch Kapoor every time he appears on screen. Rageshwari Loomba Swaroop and MK Raina play cameos and leave an impression; Swaroop as Savi’s Liverpool-based friend and Raina as Nakul’s father from Chandigarh, who is dying to meet his son and his family. His ‘balle balle’ jig once he learns that his son’s family is out of danger is heart-warming!

It’s total Bollywoodisation of the French script in the hands of Parveez Shaikh and Aseem Arora. There are dramatised background scores, and songs for every mood, including KK’s last recorded song, ‘Vaada humse karo’, to sensitise our emotional reception for a woman who would actually kill to be with the love of her life.

Chinmay Salaskar’s picturesque locales provide the perfect backdrop for us to oscillate between the ‘love’ and the ‘thrill’ factor. With ‘Savi’, Bollywood has embraced the jailbreak genre, but it would need the industry a lot more effort to be in the ‘savvy’ league of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.