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AAMIR TRAVELS FROM PATRIOTISM TO TERRORISM
AAMIR TRAVELS FROM PATRIOTISM TO TERRORISM

By Pankaj Shukla - Eye TV India Bureau

Critic's I-view

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This Friday witnesses the release of two controversial films. Though ' The Da Vinci Code' could have seen the light of the day with its world release last week as nothing much has changed besides protest by the Catholic community, it gives a nice feeling to see Tom Hanks and Aamir Khan locking horns at the box office for the first time. And, it is also for the first time that we get to see Aamir with Kajol on big screen in thier latest 'Fanaa'.

If Kajol returns to big screen after nearly five years post 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham' (she did a short appearance in between for Karan's film 'Kal Ho Na Ho'), it is also return of Aamir Khan to the Yashraj camp that he left after 'Darr' was handed over to Shah Rukh Khan. He was last seen in a Yashraj film was in 'Parampara' way back in 1993. One more interesting point to note here is that 'Fanaa' is going to be the last film for music directors' duo Jatin Lalit as they have parted ways now for different interests.

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And, if it is not enough, it is interesting to note that 'Fanaa' is only third film in Aamir Khan's nearly two-decade old career where he plays a Muslim character and more interestingly once again a negative character as he did in Deepa Mehta's 'Earth' where he played Dil Nawaz, an over-possessive lover. Controversies may have stopped the release of Aamir's 'Fanaa' in Gujarat but elsewhere opening for the film is a bumper and many multiplexes in the country are even showing 12 to 14 shows a day to rake in fast money. Yashraj Films may not have a super duper hit in waiting in 'Fanaa' but going by the curiosity among the viewers it will certainly qualify for a mega money earner.

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Aamir Khan plays Rehan Qadri in 'Fanaa'. He is a local tour guide in Delhi and couplets keep dropping from his lips now and then. He is a die-hard romantic guy and by his first appearance seems to be a happy-go-lucky kind of man who has nothing to lose and nothing to care for. Rehan is in no hurry in life, but only until he meets Zooni (Kajol). Zooni Ali Beg wants to change life. Though she cannot see beauty of life around, but her senses make her feel all that is happening and blossoming around.

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She is a very sensitive girl and having moved away from home on her own for the first time on life, she is ready to face life. Zooni meets Rehan or Rehan meets Zooni, it doesn't matter as their destiny brings them near to each other. In Zooni, Rehan finds a kind of peace that he was searching for long and Zooni finds a feeling in Rehan that she was carving for all her life. They come closer and understand each other better.

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However, their proximity to each other unfolds some secretes of Rehan's life. Zooni hails from where terrorism has been the order of the day and in Rehan she feels something bubbling down under. On the very first, she cannot believe what she has come to know, but for her this revealing of her lover's life means a lot. Now she has to decide on which side of the line she has to stay, towards her love or towards her motherland. And, in the land of Mother India, what a girl can choose? Your guess is as good as ours.

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So, in 'Fanaa', Aamir makes hat trick kinds of sorts in films where his character has died on screen. First it was in 'Mangal Pandey', then in 'Rang De Basanti' and now in 'Fanaa'. And, most of the time, it has helped Aamir to find a bit larger place in the hearts of millions of his fans. Aamir moves ahead, walks a step farther in his career that takes him to a position where none of his contemporaries dare reach.

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Aamir's quest to do archetype finds him self-doing a role in 'Fanaa' that many could have turned off right away. But, Aamir dares take the challenge to be 'Fanaa' (death or destruction) whether in love or for his cause (right or wrong) he never cares. Aamir gets an author-backed role from 'Fanaa's writer Shibani Bathija and the story may have lost its pace after the interval; it is its novelty that keeps you hooked on to its topic. Director Kunal Kohli presents Aamir Khan in a role that is not an easy task.

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His own task was put more arduous as he was to handle not one but two of the few finest actors of Hindi Cinema. Kajol has fitted the role of Zuni like Z and in her essence that makes the role of a blind girl standing on the threshold of losing her love for her country looks convincing. Among seniors only Rishi Kapoor gets to leave a mark in the story. As far as other artistes are concerned, Abhishek, Lara and even Tabu are used just as props in the film. To see Shiney Ahuja in this kind of role after 'Gangster' gives everyone a shock.

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Kunal Kohli has tried his best to depart from his cozy filmmaker image in 'Fanaa'. He has used his technicians aptly. Ravi Chandran's cinematography is world class. Salim Sulaiman once again excels in background score and Jatin Lalit come out with at least one mellifluous song, namely, Chand Sifarish. For, Yashraj Films, 'Fanaa' is going to be another money spinner but there will be many who will feel uneasy after film is over to see Aamir in an anti-national image. But, this is the game of cinema; what hits more is what sells more. Who cares for the final shot? Carry on, Aamir.

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