Abhishek Bachchan can shoulder all kinds of roles doesn’t leave us surprised but what does is the Mani used the actor. As Gurubhai aka Dhirubhai, Bachchan delivered one of his best performances. Bachchan is made to snarl and scowl and gibber and he does it all faithfully, but leaves little impact. He gives this role everything and his sincerity is commendable. But by asking him to make faces at the camera and mouthing silly lines, Ratnam simply makes his character a caricature. His body language is so stiff that his ability to blend into the dense forests is always in question and this inspite of the ten different faces he wears.
This is definitely and most certainly, is not Ash's best performance thus far. Rai was able foil and despite looking lovely, doesn’t fill out her part. She looks homegrown instead of some exotic transplant, fulfilling the promise we had first glimpsed in Ratnam’s 'Iruvar'. Aishwarya is only made to act and react in a high-pitched mode. She stays dirty through the film, screaming her way as she tries to escape. Her character screeches and moans and cries and winces and none of that makes you sympathise with her. She is photographed with a lot of love and care but her performance doesn’t really achieve any high point. Ragini is the weakest character in the film and Ms Rai doesn’t appear to have the kind of talent required to rise to the challenge.
Govinda, who plays the role of Hanuman and is called Sanjeevani in the film, is made to suddenly disappear. Govinda’s performance is typically populist in nature and Ravi Kishen is surprisingly restrained as Beera’s filial accomplice. But overall Govinda, Ravi Kissen and Nikhil Dwivedi shine their way through.
South superstar Vikram makes a smashing debut in his first mainstream Hindi film -- he's got a striking screen presence and a towering personality. But overall he is hardly any good, but still is impressive, but with little scope for histrionics. In short he captures each frame whenever he does come on, which is not a lot. Bad luck for him as he suffers on account of weak characterisation.
1.5 / 5