'Aggar', a riveting thriller by Mahadevan (Review)

Film: 'Aggar'; Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Udita Goswami, Nauheed Cyrusi; Director: Anant Mahadevan; Rating: **

Saturday, September 15, 2007 | 2:28:41 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Film: 'Aggar'; Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Udita Goswami, Nauheed Cyrusi; Director: Anant Mahadevan; Rating: **

Having been assured by director Anant Mahadevan that this is an original story, let me at the outset say writer S. Farhan has written a riveting manuscript on the anatomy of infidelity. Mahadevan has filmed the thriller with that trademark sparkle which distinguishes this underrated director from his popular peers.

Well-packaged and evenly narrated, 'Aggar' has a plot that keeps the narration going at a hot trot till the very last visual spills out in a pool of blood.

Though not done with any great stab at profundity, the episodes move with the sly celerity of a James Hadley Chase novel with a certain respect for logic generally absent in fast-paced Bollywood thrillers.

I'll draw attention to the narrative's mid-level where the wife, thinking her husband is unfaithful, has defiantly returned from a bout of infidelity with a man whom her psychiatrist-husband has been curing of a serious mental disorder.

Suddenly as the wife (Udita Goswami) enters her home she realises the woman she thought to be her husband's lover is actually an interior designer hired by her husband to build their dream home.

The second-half of this finely contoured jigsaw puzzle has Tusshar turning distinctly obsessive and doing a violent version of Shah Rukh Khan in 'Darr'. Open wounds on tortured faces ooze out as the two male actors battle it out.

'Aggar' is a steamy brew of double-crossing characters. Tusshar, so far doing staid, slightly naïve characters, works himself into dark noire areas of acting with surprising restraint. Here's an actor who has persuaded himself to evolve beyond his own expectations. He carries off his disturbed character's turmoil with reposeful restrain.

Shreyas Talpade, I am afraid, is thoroughly miscast as the suave, upmarket shrink. The Versace spectacles don't help much. Udita is perky and at times quite a revelation.

Anant Mahadevan has always been a fine raconteur with a perceptive eye for colours and interiors. Take a look at how bright Tusshar's home gets after he returns to a normal life - the cheerful white curtains, the plants and trees fluttering in the skyline. Or take Udita's workplace - it's functional yet flashy.

This thriller seldom digresses into unwanted interpolations. The narrative doesn't take too many breaks except for Suresh Menon who plays a leery fashion designer.

And what, pray tell, happened to Sophia Chowdhary who simply falls to her death in Reel 3? Was she pushed or did she take the diva's dive voluntarily because her character was caught cheating on her sensitive lover?

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