There’s a score of movies to choose from this Friday with as many as four films hitting the theatres. Among these is Nagesh Kukunoor’s Aashayein staring John Abraham, Sonal Sehgal and Anaitha Nair. It’s very difficult to write a review about this film because after the first 10 mins I wanted to walkout but I’m glad I waited because post interval this film turned into a very humble and moving plot which managed to evoke goose bumps in a couple of scenes! The one thing you really need to gather for before watching Aashayein is patience… the film unravels at its own sweet pace…. quick sometimes and extremely slow at other points.
On the evening that Rahul Sharma (John Abraham) wins billions and proposes to his girlfriend, he also discovers soon after that he has Lung Cancer and only a few months to live. Annoyed with the irony of his life, Rahul decides to turn his back on everything and goes away alone to a hospice for the ailing and dying. This is when the story of Aashayein actually begins. In this last phase of his life Rahul meets some unique characters each with their own miserable story to share. Some with healthier than him but many worse off. Aashayein follows Rahul’s journey into the world of those who don’t have a tomorrow to look forward to and yet they’re together to share hope of a better life… short as it might be.
Aashayein takes a really long time to come to the point and for most of the first half you’re wondering where the film is headed. The pre-hospice days in John’s life are depicted really dark … this can be very putting off. Once in the hospice the movie gets gripping with Farida Jalal and Girish Karnad’s characters and then when Anaitha Nair enters the story as Padma, another terminally ill patient, things get really interesting. The second half takes the emotions to a high with Govinda’s stories and Rahul’s ‘wish fairy club’. Though the whole Indiana Jones bit is a little over the top but symbolically it’s quite well done. The film flows beautifully till the wish adventure is complete… I really think that at this point after a character’s death and all the film should have ended and it would have wrapped up beautifully but Kukunoor doesn’t do that. ‘Indie’ Rahul’s Indiana Jones inspired avatar decides to embark on another deluded adventure and this just botched up the end making it absurd. So Aashayein went from zero to top and then back to zero!
Some scenes in the movie stand out like Rahul and Padma’s introduction when Padma gives her version of the tour of the hospice, Rahul and Govinda’s interactions and ofcourse Padma’s last wish.
The music score is strictly okay and none of the tracks leave a mark.
As far as the performances go, Aashayein is top notch especially Anaitha Nair … this girl steals the show completely she’s like fire when she’s onscreen… brilliant is an understatement. John Abraham also performs very well … a humbling performance. Girish Karnad and Farida Jalal are at their usual best but the little boy Ashwin Chitale who plays Govinda is a delight to watch… a complete natural.
Nagesh Kukunoor’s last superhit was Iqbal in 2005 after which Dor (though beautifully made) and 8 by 10 tasveer both couldn’t pull big crowds and I doubt it weather Aashayein would be able to draw in crowds either. On the whole Aashayein is an emotional film but I think it would be best watched at home on DVD so you can forward the songs and the boring bits… Not recommended for a theatre viewing.