Subhash K. Jha speaks about Ek – The Power Of One

This is the story if ache, sorry ek poker-faced killer and one horny cop who play a cat and mouse game as a chaotic spill over of characters from Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met try hard to look like they are convinced they aren’t in the wrong movie. But everything that can go wrong in a film does in Ek- The Power Of One. Decades ago, Raj Khosla had made Bambai Ka Babu about a man who replaces the missing son of a simple rustic family and learns a few lessons on humanism. Many years later Manmohan Desai reworked the same theme in a film called Roti where Rajesh Khanna played the impostor son who takes over an impoverished son’s life.

Now in Ek it’s the ceaselessly-stoic Bobby Deol who takes on the role of an impostor in a large joint family in Chandigarh bursting at the seams with caricature Punjabis who seem to specialize in making fools of themselves. The only members of this extended joint family to conduct themselves with dignity are Kulbhushan Kharbanda (superb as usual) and Zarina Wahab (utterly wasted). What gives this high-velocity action flick a cutting edge is the fight sequences. Bobby Deol seems to replicate his bade bhaiyya Sunny’s muscle power. When he hits the earth moves. The goon is done to soon when the Deol gets into the mood. Interesting Deol’s character is shown to be a killer from adolescence. In the interestingly-conceived prelude the child pulls a gun out on a gangster in a car and fires at him with the aim to kill. Yup, this one learns young. A subsequent attempt to just hurt a wily politician (Sachin Khedekar) goes horribly wrong (quite like this action-drama’s outdated script). And Bobby daring ends up hiding in the bustle of a boorish household in Punjab where he’s chased down by a trying-hard-to-be-cool-and -leery Nana Patekar. There are some arresting moments between the fugitive and the cop. The material is occasionally edited with speedy care (by Chirag Jain) to bring together various strands of the action in a pantomime of cohesiveness. Alas, the lose ends shriek out their protest. For Bobby Deol after Bichhoo and Badal playing the cold-blooded assassin comes naturally. He could sleepwalk through such a role. Nana Patekar is a livewire. But in the wrong character. The role of the randy cop shooting bullets and making lewd passes at the speed of a gun seems to be a corny carryover of Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Sexy Sam’ on Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna. Sam was sexy because the movie supported his ladies’ man image. Nothing in Ek suggests even a remote connection with sophistication. This one causes a head-Ek.

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