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Aamir Review

Aamir
EDITOR RATING
2.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
3.0
2.0
7.0
3.0
Suggestions
Can watch again
No
Good for kids
No
Good for dates
No
Wait to rent it
No
Some movies are made purely for slobbering film critics and connoisseurs who salivate at anything that is merely different. Welcome to Aamir.

Aamir is the tale of an NRI Aamir Ali (Rajeev Khandelwal) who's just returned to India. At the airport, he gets a call informing him that his family has been kidnapped and that they'll be set free if he does whatever he is asked to do for the next 5 hours. It turns out that his tormentors are a bunch of Muslim terrorists trying to do the usual - bomb innocent civilians to death because they believe their God loves and endorses that - and are using him to do it, though it's never clear why they need to.

Like we at fullhyd.com always say, if you want a make a movie that will win a few awards and get 5 star ratings from holier-than-thou movie critics, you have to skip the second half and keep as many things dangling as possible. Which is exactly what Aamir does. Sure, we have no problem with a moviemaker doing just what he wants. We just have a problem with paying good money to watch such bunkum.

Let us begin the post-mortem. First off, Aamir is an excruciatingly slow movie - there's no unravelling of the plot happening anywhere, and the movie plods on and on and on, with the mystery staying at square 1 even in the penultimate reel. There's no flex point anywhere in the script to make it interesting, to make it a damn story, worth the effort of making a full movie based on it.

Indeed, it's very easy to find yourself asking in the end just why the terrorists couldn't give him the suitcase in the very first reel and get him to leave it in the bus (assuming you have the tenacity to stay till the end of a film like this). Everything else is dragging it, since there's no story-telling or character-building happening in the interim.

Secondly, it takes you into the territory of sarkari documentaries, spending 95% of its time in slums. It's to escape all that that we go to watch the movies, remember? With nothing really happening in the film, your entire attention attaches itself to the bleak and completely unappetizing environs. There's a reason you don't go to a slum on a date or a family outing. It's the same reason you wouldn't want to watch a movie set almost entirely in one.

Finally, the sheer mismanagement of even what is there. (Don't read this paragraph if you are planning to watch this film - and accept our sympathies.) The ending, for instance, shows Aamir left with 2 1/2 minutes to escape before the bomb blows up, and all the actions he performs after that would take about twice that. When things like that happen, all the thrill of setting a 2 1/2 minute deadline vanishes, and the audiences just get pissed. And just why does he kill himself? Is it because that's the way to make people think you've made a profound movie?

Another example of the slipshod plot is the whole premise of the film - just what is the logic behind using Aamir for the whole exercise, when an unknown person like that can so easily bungle up things even if he does not go straight to the cops? Don't the terrorists have enough trained people in their sleeper cells? And Aamir is much more likely to spill the beans later, whether out of guilt or out of fear, than any brainwashed recruit.

And why such a bright red suitcase that will attract just anyone's attention, if you are going to put a bomb in it? And what was that chase by the cop all about? And that very violent fight?

Aamir might have made for a good film if its ending was its interval - when he turns against the villians, becomes a bolder man, and starts fighting back. He could still lose, but at least it would have made a proper movie - a story worth telling, with whatever points you wanted to make staying intact.

It's always far, far tougher to make a commercial success than to make an "art" film. Any half-baked brain can some up with esoteric-sounding stuff that will get benefit of doubt from people not willing to believe their own heads. It's far tougher to engage your audiences - and if you are making a movie, that is what you want to do, right?

Only, even by art film standards, Aamir is incredibly boring and replusive. There's a close-up shot of Aamir's vomit, for instance. Ensoi.

Rajeev Khandelwal doesn't make much of an impact at any stage in the film. Sure, the role needs him to stay docile and insignificant, but we persist - he doesn't make much of an impact at any stage in the film. There are no other characters in the film with any sizeable roles. Indeed, that's too much of a burden on a debutante's shoulders - making him carry a film all by himself.

The songs sound good, but can come in at weird times - like that song during a fight. The visuals suffer partly since the film is set mostly in a slum, and partly because showing all those faces in the crowds makes the movie look like a Films Division production.

If Aamir's script gets any points, it's for the ending, however plebian and predictable. Our goodness is determined by how much above our current level of goodness we can rise, especially when it entails a price to be paid for a very long time.

There were some people in Ramakrishna clapping when Aamir regains control of the briefcase that he believes contains the Quam's money. Ramakrishna attracts a whole lot of the old city crowds, and we want to believe they were all clapping for the right reasons, and that the rumours are all wrong.

Then, there weren't many people in Ramakrishna anyway, on the very first day. If you didn't get the drift yet, that's your last hint.
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AAMIR SNAPSHOT
Aamir (hindi) reviews
USER RATING
4.8
4 USERS
RATE
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TOP COMMENT
S S on 28th Jun 2008, 2:50pm | Permalink
Give us the name of the reviewer...He belongs in our Critics Hall of Shame. I was amazed not
only by Aamir as a film but also the reaction of the crowd surprised me. There were people
clapping, the so called frontbenchers too seemed to enjoy the movie. Now whenever I
questioned the reviewers of fullhyd I got the reply that you don't give any merit to the
artistic value of the movie rather to the "entertainment" value. Well crowd seemed
entertained....Whats your excuse now ?? Mr Editor come and save your reveiwer again ..... Or watch the movie and fire him/her, unless you reviewed it yourself.

Now about the movie itself. Aamir works on multiple levels. It is not a story of a man being
told to take a bag to blow up something as our esteemed reviewer understood. It was the
fight between ideologies - Heck why should I even bother to explain. Probably the reviewer
is right in a way, The world loves mediocre stuff.
What this review stands for is not just a degradation and decay of our society that a good film or "art" as the reveiwer puts it is reviled and ridiculed. We seem to be heading to the world Ayn Rand described in "Atlas Shrugged", where impotent(creatively,not a comment on physical abilities) critics take pride and achieve fame for criticising and ridiculing
the progress made by others.

I dont say that Aamir is a landmark in itself, it is good cinema, But it will surely inspire
filmmakers of tomorrow. This is obviously not for those who find Dhoom,Race kind of cinema to
be put in their faves list. I would not even ask you to remember you duty towards society
and cinema as that will make me the "uncool fool" that you "dudes" at full hyderabad don't
want to be like.

But I am happy that there are a lot of us "uncool fools" who are posting comments
recommending this "2 star" film rated by a no star reviewer.

PS - If ending had been the interval, and after that Aamir fought back then he would not be
Aamir(The director even tried to explain that to people like you in the last frame). Why did
people die in end of Rang de Basanti....Because Sacrifice was the essence of it ...same
applies here if you understood RDB that is.

Just curious, What do you have to say about directors like Satyajit Ray ...Does he rate even "1" on your scale....But again,Probably you never heard of him.

Pros: Script and Screenplay, Direction,Cinematography, City life that most of us have never seen, Acting
Cons: Not for everyone
2
0
USER RATING
8.0
AAMIR USER REVIEWS
1 - 13 OF 13 COMMENTS
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
4.8
4 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
8.5
9.0
8.0
8.5
Can watch again - Yes
Good for kids - No
Good for dates - No
Wait to rent it - Yes
god 2 on 29th Jun 2008, 6:13pm | Permalink
S_S, maybe fullhyd are not conventional movie critics..(since you said "as a critic you have a responsibility to promote good cinema."
also, i disagree with that.it's like telling a 1st standard kid who's got only 5/10 that his hand-writing is good, to keep him from getting deprssed (assuming even Aamir is good cinema). you do that at the 1st standard level, not to a moviemaker who can't get basics right.and in being encouraging,you can't give a higher rating than a film deserves.
i remember a dispute for omkara on fullhyd.readers were up in arms against the site,but the movie did flop as fullhyd said.
i'm guessing fullhyd may have given a Ray movie 2/10 too by its commercial rating criteria, but i guess the tone of the review would be different from what it was for Aamir,since Ray movies will not have the protagonist killing himself for the heck of it when it's totally unnecessary, and there'll at least be a fine story-telling effort even if not commercially viable.
uncle pai on 29th Jun 2008, 1:06pm | Permalink
@xlnc:i meant overhyped by critics. how watchable a movie is also depends on the cast. so yes,if Aamir starred really big stars, that would add to watchability for me, since i enjoy watching an SRK/Hrithick/Aamir Khan on screen.which means if you have small stars, you have to do something really innovative to make up and improve watchability.

i think black,RDB and TZP were all ciommercial hits, and this movie (as people below said) didn't last a week, so what is the point anyway?so wasn't this site right with the rating?i dunno what rating this site gave black friday and hazaaron,but someone below talked about the black,TZP and RDB ratings.

SS,well argued...however the review asks a lot of questions of the movie that i did too.the questions to me justify the rating.maybe any other reviewer on fullhyd would have given the same, too,if their parameters are what you've said they are...
S_S on 28th Jun 2008, 7:43pm | Permalink
Well I guess this is one explanation which I had to put in here.

I like this site...Been coming here for years.
I have nothing personal against the reviewer but would like to know who it was. So that from next time I would know the value to attach to his/her reviews.

I agree all our views need not match about the movie. But then we are just viewers. The reason for my harshness is that as a critic you have a responsibility to promote good cinema. You tell me is it not harsh on part of the reviewer to give it a 2 ? He/she is not just airing his personal opinion but also has a duty to appreciate whatever is worth appreciating.Had it got a verdict of even 5 or 6 I would have understood that it goes with a rating policy . I don't mind looking at the entertainment value of movies while rating. But you judge in spite of some unique visuals and nice concept and good performances does it deserve only a 2 ??

Also, I feel the movie made a very valid point of how Muslim youth might be tempted to endorse terrorism by being misled, but Aamir in the movie rises above that.

Drama and logic don't always go hand in hand. But I feel it was justified that Aamir instead of killing for the sake of the religion rose above that to sacrifice himself. You can see the terrorist on the phone dropping down was an indication that his own beliefs had been shaken. Aamir did not save his family but died for the greater good.

But to end this statement as in the end of the movie the media reports that a terrorist died(ofcourse with some confusion) ....Not every good act gets the desired result well so with the movie's review I guess.

@raji - I agree they are killed in RDB but again it was something that might be called sacrifice.
And, I also love the new look of fullhyd...Looks nice.

The movie not running beyond a week can have various reasons from marketing, to availability of theatres to the fact that its coming on UTV in a couple of weeks. We are not judging whether the movie is a hit or flop but whether it is good.

The user review of the movie on the site is 5 I guess thats proving a point in itself.

To end this, again, I have no personal grudge against either the site or the reviewer. So please consider my comments in the right context...and people the very fact that the movie is "art" that its raising extreme views and a discussion then is healthy. See you again at a different review at a different movie :)
area51 on 28th Jun 2008, 5:39pm | Permalink
i have been a fan of fullhyd (the reviews, certainly) for years, and always go by them.
i just checked that fullhyd gave black 8/10, rdb 7.5/10 and tzp 6/10 (as opposed to 2/10 for this), so i don't know why ss and xlnc are making that a point against this review.(i also remember seeing black on the 100th day -i think- at prasads.)
anyway if ythey seem to have said that they give value only to entertainment value, then what's wrong with that?why can't they follow their own policy instead of something a we feel they should?
i did not see aamir, but wanted to (i did not read any reviews)- it was out by the time i could :(. will still watch on dvd at least to understand this debate :).
raji on 28th Jun 2008, 5:16pm | Permalink
i read SS comments.... one mistake though... in RDB they do not sacrifice themselves....they are killed though they dont want to....i also found it odd why aamir could not just throw the suitcase away instead of dying with it......if he lives he can at least try to find some way out for his family
(and why is ss so harsh on the reviewer????)
i likeeeeee the new look of fullhyd!!!!!!!!
varunvarun on 28th Jun 2008, 5:07pm | Permalink
@SS:i have only one thing to say to you- the movie left every theatre in Hyderabad in 1 week- not even 1 show in a multiplex.so much for front benchers clapping and entertainment.i dunno about some ongoing fued you said you have with this site's reviewers,but i found this review mentioned (copypasted, actually) on rediff, and i came here from there.it was one of the few reviews that exactly spoke my mind.
finally,i don't think you understood what the review was trying to say,so you and the reviewer are even.
RATING
1
XLNC Aditya on 28th Jun 2008, 3:30pm | Permalink
@ Uncle Pai -- Well what would have said if it was a Hollywood movie, with huge star cast and a billion graphics thrown in for the "Masala Viewers"??

It's a shame that movies like Aamir, Black Friday and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi are being named as different cinema which is worthless piece of crap!!

I mean wasn't Black different, or Taare Zameen Par or RDB!!! And in some aspects this movie beats all of them. Yeah! and as I said before its slow not lousy.

And talking about Overhyped!!! how could you even call it that?? SARKAR RAJ and DASAVATARAM were overhyped. Aamir wasn't even shown on regular trailer time!!
S S on 28th Jun 2008, 2:50pm | Permalink
Give us the name of the reviewer...He belongs in our Critics Hall of Shame. I was amazed not
only by Aamir as a film but also the reaction of the crowd surprised me. There were people
clapping, the so called frontbenchers too seemed to enjoy the movie. Now whenever I
questioned the reviewers of fullhyd I got the reply that you don't give any merit to the
artistic value of the movie rather to the "entertainment" value. Well crowd seemed
entertained....Whats your excuse now ?? Mr Editor come and save your reveiwer again ..... Or watch the movie and fire him/her, unless you reviewed it yourself.

Now about the movie itself. Aamir works on multiple levels. It is not a story of a man being
told to take a bag to blow up something as our esteemed reviewer understood. It was the
fight between ideologies - Heck why should I even bother to explain. Probably the reviewer
is right in a way, The world loves mediocre stuff.
What this review stands for is not just a degradation and decay of our society that a good film or "art" as the reveiwer puts it is reviled and ridiculed. We seem to be heading to the world Ayn Rand described in "Atlas Shrugged", where impotent(creatively,not a comment on physical abilities) critics take pride and achieve fame for criticising and ridiculing
the progress made by others.

I dont say that Aamir is a landmark in itself, it is good cinema, But it will surely inspire
filmmakers of tomorrow. This is obviously not for those who find Dhoom,Race kind of cinema to
be put in their faves list. I would not even ask you to remember you duty towards society
and cinema as that will make me the "uncool fool" that you "dudes" at full hyderabad don't
want to be like.

But I am happy that there are a lot of us "uncool fools" who are posting comments
recommending this "2 star" film rated by a no star reviewer.

PS - If ending had been the interval, and after that Aamir fought back then he would not be
Aamir(The director even tried to explain that to people like you in the last frame). Why did
people die in end of Rang de Basanti....Because Sacrifice was the essence of it ...same
applies here if you understood RDB that is.

Just curious, What do you have to say about directors like Satyajit Ray ...Does he rate even "1" on your scale....But again,Probably you never heard of him.

Pros: Script and Screenplay, Direction,Cinematography, City life that most of us have never seen, Acting
Cons: Not for everyone
RATING
8
Uncle Pai on 25th Jun 2008, 10:00am | Permalink
@xlnc:like the fullhyd review said, just beause a movie is different, it doesn't become good.anybody can make a different movie. i found aamir lousy, and overhyped just because it is "different".
XLNC Aditya on 25th Jun 2008, 9:17am | Permalink
Well, I agree with Rohit and as I have said a dozen times before, the reviewers should not compare movies like these to movies like Jab We Met, or Sarkar. Give them credit for coming up with daring scripts.
rohit on 24th Jun 2008, 11:50am | Permalink
Hi,

I really don't support the review of movie Aamir. Its a great movie with commendable acting from Rajeev khandelwal. Just because the movie is not dance/songs, typical masala movie people don't appreciate it. I am really surprised to see that the taste of movie watchers here is not at all developed when we see movie like Aamir not even completing a month. Hyderabad supposed be the cosmopolitan spirit is not reflected in their chocie of movies and this is proved by your review.
varma2us on 14th Jun 2008, 10:14am | Permalink
this movie got rave reviews- only this site called it crap. it's out of all theatres in 1 week.that's why i love this site- they speak my mind always.
RATING
2
XLNC Aditya on 9th Jun 2008, 1:44pm | Permalink
Well, as I noted before, the fullhyd reviewers are losing it! I mean to make a movie like Aamir requires lots of skill and lots of good acting.

If the reviewer was expecting an entertaining movie then its totally his fault, coz the looks and title of movie had already showcased that the movie was thought provoking. And it does entertain in pieces.

I think the reason that the reviewer even went to this movie was because he didn't get tickets to Sarkar Raj!!

The fact that it didn't have a superior cast with a Rs.10 crore plus charging actor is the best part, cause if it had one it would have lost its plot.

The visuals of Mumbai are extremely well shot as the direction haunts you from the moment the movie starts. The very first scene of the movie is amazing, when Aamir asks the customs officer that if his name had been Amar instead he wouldn't have checked him.

I am not saying its a masterpiece, but it deserves more than whats been given to it. I have missed some really entertaining movies due to idiotic reviews and seen really bad ones coz fullhyd wanted us to.

P.S. - If this was boring and slow, what would you call Black Friday or even Mithya, which are truly amazing pieces of Indian cinema.

If you wanted lots of action and drama and nymphomaniacs in skimpy outfits then head to Lamba instead!

Pros: The acting, the background score and amazing direction and pretty neat dialouges
Cons: Kinda slow, don't watch it just cause you didn't get tickets to Sarkar Raj.
RATING
8
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