Samir Karnik has tried three complete different genres of interesting plots in his four year career. Every time the basic plot is interesting, the writing, casting and performances let the films down. This happened in Kyun…Ho Gaya Na, then in Nanhe Jaisalmer and now in Heroes…
Two overgrown hunks (Sohail and Vatsal) in their final semester of film-making course are denied the degree by the head of the institute. Reason – 0% attendance and failed in all subjects, because they were busy ding-donging their girlfriends (Amrita and Riya, the former being the daughter of their professor). Decision is that they both have to make a graduation film and submit to the institute, to be able to get the degree certificate and proceed for higher education abroad.
They decide to make a film on why not to join the Indian defense forces and meet Amrita’s cousin (Mohnish Bahl) for the plot, who suggests them to make reality film by visiting families of three army men who got killed in the Kargil war, and also pass-on their last letters to their families.
What follows is a three episode journey to the respective families of the deceased (Salman, Bobby and Dino), and change in the behavior of the main protagonists when they see the big picture, witness the pride and the toughness of the families. After getting the degree, they stay back and serve the country by opening a school…
Looks a decent plot on paper, but the application and presentation is a letdown. The scenes are too predictable and dialogues (which should have been the strongest feature / backbone of the film) are average. The emotional scenes look fake, and patriotic ones look forced on the audience just to grab the attention of the viewer. The star heavyweights – Preity, Salman and Sunny ultimately had to come forward to save the film by their performances, rest all disappoint.
The film depicts quite nasty attitude of the armed forces towards the martyr and their surviving families, which doesn’t look convincing. Writing a last letter to the family and keeping it to themselves (till they die in the war) is shown as a ritual for the army men, I hadn’t heard it anywhere till now. Keeping the last letters of the deceased to himself for three years, what was Mohnish waiting for? Which institute on earth tells the students about their progress only at the end of their course? Salman’s little kid turning a Salman (Lt. Jasvinder Singh) himself and coming to meet Sohail and Vatsal in their college looks weird if it was 2008.
Performances: Riding high on the best actress award for “Heaven on Earth” at the Chicago film festival, Preity delivers the best performance of the film. Sunny and Salman also give decent performances. Nobody else leaves a mark in the whole film. Sohail should concentrate on film direction rather than acting. Riya has to wait till Rituparno’s “Nauka Doobi” releases to be known as an actress. Mithun and Hrishita are way better actors than the lame roles written for them.
Because of the writing, the film drags and does not rise to an above average level throughout. Go for Suhail Tatari’s “Summer 2007” on DVD, a much better attempt on student awakening.
Music: The plot of the film is comfortably woven around Punjab / Himachal, so that scope of Punjabi folk and dance numbers can be fully utilized. Barring an average “Mannata”, rest of the numbers by Sajid-Wajid and Monty Sharma are unimpressive.