Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My Wife's Murder


My Wife’s Murder is a no-frills, tense thriller about an ordinary man thrown into an extraordinary situation of his own making.

The most surprising aspect of the film is how much it manages to mine from so very little. At its heart is a murder but it is not a whodunit, a whydunit or even a howdunit. All these are revealed to us when the murder happens. The story is fairly straightforward and doesn’t throw up any unexpected twists. And though it involves a murder investigation, the investigation is plain and thorough rather than being spectacular (i.e. it does not involve the police drawing clever conclusions from a string of clues). But inspite of these, the movie brings us to the edge of the seat.

The film's biggest success is that it makes us 'understand' the protagonist. His moves are dictated by desperation rather than calculated logic and this makes us sympathise with him. So there is genuine tension as the police draw closer to him. But the cops aren't the bad guys either. They are just doing their job. Their investigation is simple and precise and there are no bright guesses or leaps of intuition. Their steps are based on old-fashioned policework every step of the way.

After a brilliant first half the pace does drop off a little in the second half. And the scene where Anil Kapoor steals a truck affects the realism that the movie had built up so effectively until then. But it does recover nicely in the climax.

Anil Kapoor is a good fit for the protagonist’s role. He doesn’t have the ‘superstar’ halo and convincingly portrays an everyman on the run. But top acting honors go(again) to Boman Irani. He is superb as the food-loving policeman who follows his instincts and tracks the bad guy with single-minded devotion. Nandana Sen seems quite stiff initially but comes into her own as the movie proceeds while Suchitra Krishnamoorthy earns our irritation in the short time she is onscreen.

The first half takes place almost entirely indoors. The poor lighting and shadows very effectively create a claustrophobic atmosphere and a couple of scenes are actually a bit creepy. The background score also enhances the effect.

28 Comments:

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous GP said...

Oh, so you recommend this movie? Good.. Will watch it sometime this weekend. Time to watch a whole bunch of hindi movies, now that my wife is coming later today.

 
At 12:40 AM, Anonymous vic said...

nice review bj!

agree abt the film, and anil was fantastic! definitely one of his better performances

I also thought suchitra krishnamurty as the wife, rajesh tandon as nandana’s boyfriend and manish khanna as boman’s partner were also very good

though as usual, I didn’t like boman very much

I much prefer the cop from ‘madyahnapu hatya’ (bhanu chandar I think?), he was really good

btw are you planning to check out the new ramu film this friday - ‘james’

check out the promo, it looks incredible

it’s an action flick with mohit alawat and nisha kothari(from ‘jay jay’)

victor

 
At 1:32 AM, Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

Good Review.
I really liked the movie when I saw it. Definitely worth a watch :-)

 
At 2:44 AM, Blogger skanda said...

anil kapoor is the most underrated actor in India..he gives his best performance in all his films. But the box office fate of his films let him down badly. So balaji which of Anil kapoor's films do u like best?

 
At 9:21 AM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, xcellent review...i like RGV's films coz they're very slick, gritty n fast-paced and dont indulge in Hindi cinema's Karan Johar-ish sentiments!! Films he "supervises" fall a bit short of the ones he directs but I've enjoyed his productions like "Ek Hasina Thi" and "Pyaar...Tune Kya Kiya?" will look fwd to My Wife's Murder...no songs in this one either, is it?! good for him!!

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Thanks for the review Balaji. This movie is showing in NAZ8 at fremont. I'll check it out this weekend if possible.

Looks like a well made movie.

 
At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to keep up with the movies lately - what language is this movie - Hindi or Engligh?

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Ram.C said...

seems to be the next good hindi movie after 'black'.. makes me eager to watch it as soon as possible. always RGV production house raises expectations .. and it has proved it again that it can deliver.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

gp, yes i definitely recommend it. but wife oorlerndhu varaanga. first padam 'my wife's murder' vendaame :-)

vic, so this was a remake of the 'hatya' film? telugu i assume? who was the director of that one?

as for 'james' i didnt even know until u mentioned it that it was from RGV. the stills i saw showed primarily a topless hunk and the gal pretty close to topless. so i assumed it was one of those skin flicks!

ferrari, i agree.

skanda, i've always been OK with AK :-) can't remember many movies off the top of my head but he was good playing the joking around types in movies like 'ram lakhan', etc.

ram, thanx! and yep, no songs.

narayanan, yes a very well-made flick.

anon, its a hindi movie.

ramc, yes there've been a few missteps(like 'vaastushastra') but overall the RGV productions seem to be good.

 
At 1:04 AM, Anonymous vic said...

they were both ramu films - ramu made it first in telugu as ‘madyahnapu hatya’ (starring chakri) and then in hindi as ‘my wife’s murder’ (starring anil)

ramu seems to be doing more bilinguals these days - also his next film ‘shock’ will be in telugu w/ ravi teja & jyothika and in hindi with randeep hooda

btw bj, have you checked out ‘d’ or ‘sarkar’ yet?

victor

 
At 12:17 PM, Anonymous gp said...

Balaji, hahahaha.. that was perfectly timed.. :-) I will show her 'Paheli' first and then this one... idhu eppadi irukku?

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vic, hmmm... i thot the telugu 'shock' was a remake of the tamil 'shock' with jo in meena's role. but if he's doing it in hindi too, then i guess its not.

i saw 'sarkar' and 'd' is on my netflix queue. thot 'sarkar' was also a no-frills, taut film. but lacked emotional depth inspite of family playing a big part.

gp, sounds much better :-)

 
At 1:19 AM, Anonymous vic said...

ya, it is not the same as the prashant 'shock' (which wasn't a ramu film anyways)

and I’m not sure I agree with lacking emotional depth

the father-son relationships were portrayed very well and realistically

I dunno if you have seen ramu’s original godfather remake ‘gaayam’ (starring jagapathi) - but ‘sarkar’ seemed a more stripped down and lean version of that film with much less ‘emotional content’

though I kinda thought of it as a bit of an improvement - sarkar turned out much more raw and gritty than ‘gaayam’ (as the case with most of ramu’s telugu to hindi remakes). but nonetheless both ‘gaayam’ and ‘sarkar’ are classics imo - just the treatment is a bit different for each

btw, I have already watched ‘james’ twice in theatres… it is an excellent film
a must see for action fans!

and I look forward to your thoughts on ‘d’

victor

 
At 1:32 AM, Anonymous vic said...

btw bj, did you hear abt this...

link

victor

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

vic, agree with the lean, raw and gritty descriptions. that was maybe why it didnt affect me emotionally. plus many scenes reminded me of 'naayagan'(naturally!) and 'thevar magan', 2 of my all-time fav tamil movies :-)

did read raves about the 'james' action scenes. but the movie got a thumbs down overall. still debating on whether i'll see it or not :-)

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger bl@her said...

Saw the movie this weekend after reading such good reviews by everybody. Probably I expected a lot more, while you all watched it without expectations. My friends actually kicked me for giving such a big build-up. Personally, I felt it was a well-made and well-acted movie.

 
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