By Sameer Wadekar, Bollywood Trade News Network
It’s still not clear to me after watching ARYAN whether it’s a boxer’s story or a boxer’s love story. And that’s because so much time is devoted to the romantic build-up that the hero’s quest to become a champion boxer becomes almost insignificant till sometime after the intermission.
ARYAN can be divided simply into two parts: in the first part he is battling to win his girl and in the second he is fighting to win the title and be the champ. So that tosses up the obvious question of whether it’s a love story set against the backdrop of boxing or a boxing movie set against the backdrop of love? Because the tagline for the movie calls Aryan unbreakable for whom winning is the only thing. So it ideally should have been a boxer’s story and his triumph and that is seen only after the intermission, which should have been the focus but a lot of time is devoted (read: wasted) on the romantic interludes of Aryan and his lady.
ARYAN (Sohail Khan) is a tough boxer, a college champ but sacrifices his passion for the (another) love of his life Neha. He is compelled to marry her after he learns she’s pregnant. He has a son Ranveer, a job as a sport commentator and he’s quite happy with it till circumstances force him to get into the ring and regain him his passion as well as his dream to be the champ. This is the story line in general. ARYAN is pitted against the ruling champ Ranjeet who in a way instigates him to fight again and Aryan has his tough gut trainer Ranveer (Aryan names his son after this guy) by his side.
While watching the film one does feel that the story had potential to turn out to be an engaging movie, had the director Abhishek Kapoor provided an eye for detail and a little attention towards the screenplay. He had a good opportunity here to deal with the psyche and frustration of Aryan when he quits boxing and is reduced to living a rudimentary life. He does try to present it but in a very unconvincing way. For that he turns Aryan into almost a wife beater, something that seems more frantic than factual.
And also Aryan’s final confrontation in the ring with Ranjeet ends up being filmi. Ranjeet, who in the first half comes up as a normal looking guy, gets transformed into a monster in the latter half. No explanations for that are provided and it all seems to have been done to serve the purpose. Also the boxing match between the two is, does not pack a punch. Those hardly look as boxing wounds, instead it looks a cupful of tomato ketch-up being been splashed on their faces!
But Abhishek Kapoor does have a few things on his side. First of all he had an average bunch of actors for the lead roles. Here too they don’t do anything exceptional but the director at least makes them to stand and deliver. And secondly it was Neelabh Kaul’s cinematography that’s worth a mention. He does impress with the way he captures the mood and uses the lighting in the post-interval proceedings. The music is fine with only the song ‘Choona hai Aasma Ko’ giving the right zest and energy to the story.
There’s a line in the film said by Aryan’s coach that he (Aryan) should keep his punch to himself and not to his girlfriend if he ever wants to become a champion. The director should have stuck to that line while building the screenplay as he often makes Aryan to go against the advice. As a result Kapoor does enter the film into the ring but makes sure it goes down without a fight!