"I See You", I saw you. And I wish I had waited for some friend to buy the VCD and borrowed it, instead of doing the cross-country trek from Begumpet to Kacheguda and back to see you.
Shot entirely in London, "I See You" is your quintessential multiplex movie. No big-time heroes or heroines, the usual suspects providing support (Boman Irani, Sonali Kulkarni, Kirron Kher), none of the usual high volume music and low coverage clothes, and an unusual storyline.
Raj Jaiswal (Arjun Rampal) hosts the popular desi British TV show, "British Raj". When he is not living on the edge (i. e. risking a sexual harassment lawsuit) with his co-host Dilnaz (Sophie Choudary) or with sundry colleagues, he is to be found living it up in chic London, where he owns a chic apartment, drives a chic car, and is in general a chic guy.
His life takes a bizarre twist when he comes home to find a mysterious woman kind of hanging out in his balcony. Meet Dr. Shivani Dutt (Vipasha Agarwal). Erstwhile resident in the same flat, conscientious doctor, beloved daughter, currently comatose and teetering between life and death in the ICU. Yes, I know, I know. So if she's in coma, what is she doing in Raj's balcony?
It turns out that the individual in the balcony is Shivani's spirit, her roo. For reasons best known to herself (and unexplained to us), only Raj can see, hear or feel Shivani. The reason Shivani is in a coma is that she stumbled across a bad doctor in her hospital involved in shady organ transplant shenanigans, who tried to bump her off in a road "accident" and fell marginally short of succeeding. Dr. Evil now has her under his nose, and is biding his time, waiting for the right moment to turn off her life support systems.
Shivani convinces Raj that she is, in fact, a ghost and not a prank set up by his friend and colleague Akshay Kapur (Chunky Pandey, looking astonishingly like Antonio Banderas!), and enlists his help in getting her out of the predicament she's in, which is what the movie is basically about.
Technically the film is decent, the songs aren't anything to write home about (although "Aaj raat, aaj raat! Hello, hello!" is a foot-tapper). If we are sorry that we didn't get to enjoy the considerable histrionic abilities of Boman Irani, Kirron Kher and Sonali Kulkarni, we should praise the Lord that we were spared the histrionic abilities of Sophie Choudary. Arjun Rampal and newcomer Vipasha Agarwal manage to get some chemistry (and no physics) going, but not enough to salvage the movie.
I See You could've been a good suspense/crime thriller ("The Sixth Sense"), or something emotional and tender ("Ghost"), or a pure fun movie ("Mr. India"). Instead, it ends up being a bit of an American chopsuey film, with a little bit of everything.
The first half actually works - gets you interested and pulls you in. The dialogue is witty, but in a cool, understated way, and plot is engrossing. But in the great tradition of (most) Indian cinema, the opportunities are frittered away in the second. When the film ends, you're left with a vague dissatisfaction, of having watched a decent movie, but one which failed in getting you emotionally involved.
In passing, it should be mentioned that after about, oh, 13 milliseconds from the end, all the annoying logical inconsistencies start screaming at you. Why was it so hard for Raj to prove to the world that Shivani's spirit was flitting around him? Why did they have to have a Hindi speaking Caucasian cop? What curious provision of British law allows you to abduct comatose patients from their beds and not be prosecuted? Etcetera etcetera. Maybe it's just you...