Just what you wanted - to kick off your weekend watching a poetry-spouting psychopath
with delusions of grandeur. Touted to be his magnum opus, Abhay runs on the pure
steam of Kamal Hasan's megalomaniacal tendencies. The posters get you all hopeful,
and at several points, the script indeed begins to look, sneakily enough, like
Psycho, and even Cats; but then all your suspicions are put to rest when what
emerges is the usual mindless violence - which in Indian movies is like a security
blanket; you just can't do without it.
Abhay is an oh-so-imaginative tale about the good twin vs. the evil twin. What,
you've heard that one before? Well, it must be our racial memory at work. Anyway,
wing-flapping Hasan (Vijay) is a commando. And if you look carefully enough, you
can actually see the halo around his solar plexus. When he's not saving the planet
and the whole of humanity from the clutches of evil, he inflicts on his audiences
hajaar lines all laced with sexual innuendoes. To make the picture perfect, he's
just about to get married to his already pregnant fiancée, NDTV presenter Tejasvini
The trouble, though, begins to brew when Vijay takes Tejasvini to meet his psychopathic twin brother. Enter Abhay, Hasan plus about 50kg. Of brawn around his neck.
Abhay is a highly antisocial schizophrenic who's more trouble than a barrel of
boiling uranium. The minute he sees the pregnant Raveena, he goes berserk and
vows to kill her. Why? Because he suffers from the filmi stepmom syndrome. The
usual yada-yada about childhood abuse and neglect has driven in Abhay a wedge
so deep that it makes him a misogynist. He feels that he needs to protect his
brother by wiping Raveena off the face of the earth. And so, with the help of
other inmates, he breaks out of his asylum and begins stalking the couple. His
act is soon busted, though, and the couple is on the run.
The movie quickly morphs into a full-fledged action flick, with twins armed to
the teeth with kicks - not suave, slick kicks, but the usual dishum dushum. Aw,
come on, the good twin is supposed to be a commando, for crying out loud. Surely,
he can kick butt better. But no, he manages to get chased all over town by his
loony bro who, in spite of being locked up in an asylum all his life, manages
to drive a lorry and a car. Gosh, the most impressive part was Abhay knowing how
to operate the sunroof of the car... sheesh, the things an asylum teaches. Anyway,
the two battle it out till the end, and the film peters out to a clichéd end.
The flick should have been called 'I, Me and Myself'. Hasan totally dominates,
and even poor Raveena, despite her National Award, gets about as much to do as
a cat in the Gaza strip. She looks around 60 years old, and sufficiently victimized.
As for Manisha Koirala, in her brief role she casts a lasting impression. She
looks cute - dumpy, but cute.
The best parts, of what is left of the movie, are in the first half. Schizoid Abhay pops drug E (Ecstasy), and in his hallucinistic haze, turns into an animated hero and slays Manisha. Now this, gauging from the vague expressions in the theater, doesn't go down anyplace with the masses. Hasan, in his makeshift role of scribe, also adds a crack about necrophiles, and there is also, in enough instances, stuff for one to be reminded of Oedipus in sufficient doses. I wonder what he was trying to say.
Anyway, analyses apart, even if you don't understand a word of what the actors are saying (there isn't much said in the first place), you'd still know from the punches, arms and legs flying all across the screen that this is a pure action flick where the brawn is much much mightier than the brain. Hasan looks scary - his penchant for body art remains at an all time high.
There are glaring holes in the script that defy logic. An example is when Abhay
has just escaped from the asylum - in the next scene you see him dressed to the
nines in what appear to be a rather expensive T-shirt, jacket and pair of pants.
Gosh, looks like he never leaves home - er, asylum - without them (read the Amex
The movie is a huge letdown. It lacks the pop, snap and crackle to fill you with
enough guts to potter down to the theater and watch it. Catch it on the CD, it's
easier on the brains.