Gupt was released during
a time when Bollywood was going through a lean phase. And it was a really big
hit. No wonder. It is a slickly made movie with stylish cinematography, beautiful
locales, and pretty good performances. It falls in the genre of thriller movies
and fares much better than any of its sorry predecessors did. The director,
Rajiv Rai is not over-awed by the subject and so does not make a hosh-posh out
of the whole thing.
Saahil (Bobby Deol) is framed
for the murder of his stepfather, the Governor (Raj Babbar). Saahil had an unreasonable
hatred towards his stepfather, who was a pretty decent man. There was an incident
at a party where, Saahil tried to kill his stepfather in a fitful fury when
his engagement to Sheetal (Manisha) is announced without consulting him. Because
of all this, Saahil is the main suspect for the murder. The party's guests have
no problem assuring the court that Saahil did indeed kill his father because
of the earlier incident they witnessed. Even Saahil's mom (Priya Tendulkar)
testifies against him. She had stopped him from attacking the Governor at the
party, and she also saw him with his hand on the dagger after Saahil discovered
the body. (Oh no! Not again!!)
So Saahil is sent off to
jail. But he escapes in an interesting way, which is shot very convincingly.
He gets together with his sweetheart, Eesha (Kajol) and with help from Sheetal
he begins his search to find the real killer and clear his name. On his trail
is an oft-suspended trigger-happy inspector (Om Puri), who believes in
his skill at shooting people than in long arm of the law, and his sidekicks
(Sadashiv Amprapurkar and Ashok Saraf).
Here the whodunit factor
makes its entry. Saahil makes a list of the possible suspects, and boy, oh boy!
That list has just about everyone in the movie, in it. Just as you start wondering
how Saahil is going to catch the killer with so many suspects around, he starts
his investigations. He has a very simple procedure. He corners the suspect and
bashes the heebie-jeebies out of him, till the guy has no option left but to
tell the truth. Slowly all the suspects start assembling in a hospital room
and the list narrows down to... nobody!
The identity of the killer
is a real surprise and is well justified too. Though there are a few flaws in
the plot, you can overlook them because of the tight pace. Bobby Deol though
should pay more attention to acting. He is great in the fights and the dances
(plenty of both in the movie), but really looks lost, when it comes to acting.
Manisha isn't given much scope to act as she essays the role of a bimbo, but
she looks glamorous in the songs. Kajol's role is underplayed in keeping with
the plot. She is brilliant as usual. The remaining cast members are all competent,
with no one really standing out among the crowd, except the real murderer.
One of the main highlights
of the movie is the techno sounding music score by Viju Shah. The music is really
good, and the haunting shriek, Ayayayayayaaaah!, that resounds through the movie
and the songs, is an easily identifiable Viju Shah signature. Cinematography
by Ashok Mehta is good especially because of the beautiful locales chosen for
All in all, good time pass
for three hours, and a real treat to your visual and auditory senses. Enjoy
seeing the movie and take care not to reveal the whodunit to anyone.