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Director :
Music :
Starring :
 Vikram Bhatt
 Aftab Shivdasani, Rahul Dev, Emraan Hashmi, Anoop Soni, Irfaan Khan, Bipasha Basu, Aparna Tilak

By Kshama Rao

We guess director Vikram Bhatt has decided to give a dud with every alternate film. The successful Raaz was followed by the tepid Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage, which in turn was followed by the box-office friendly Awara Paagal Deewana, and now Footpath. So you know what we are getting at.

Arjun (Aftab Shivdasani) is a dear friend of brothers Shekhar Shrivastav (Rahul Dev) and Raghu Shrivastav (newcomer Emraan Hashmi). Arjun and Raghu share a special bond; they both are 'khasamkhas yaars'. In their childhood, Raghu had stabbed the killer of Arjun's father and helped him to elope to Delhi. Years later, Arjun who now works as an estate agent is sought out by Inspector Singh (Anoop Soni) to help him in his mission to nab the two Shrivastav brothers who have now grown up into Mumbai's drug dealers. Singh feels that Arjun can infiltrate into the gang and help the cops reach the drug Kingpin, Shaikh (Irfaan Khan). Arjun takes up the offer in the hope of rehabilitating his friends. Everything goes as per plan till one day during a dealing, Singh's associate tries to do an 'encounter' of the two brothers. Raghu starts smelling foul. Shaikh in the meanwhile informs Shekhar about Arjun's hand-in-glove-with-the-cops mission. Now, it's up to Shekhar to decide how to save his own skin. He tells Raghu about Arjun's truth and asks him to bump him off. Raghu fails and so Shekhar decides to kill his own brother instead. A 'bloody' climax follows in which Shekhar too dies and Arjun despite all the battering manages to survive clutching childhood memories.

Oh, yes and there are two ladies too. There is Sanjana (Bipasha Basu), Shirvastavs' sister and Arjun's girlfriend and a teacher (Aparna Tilak) who wants to reform the ruffians through her English-speaking classes (since when has English-speaking become the sole criterion for 'good behaviour'?). She's also Raghu's sweetheart.
Mahesh Bhatt has written Footpath and it deals with drugs, an issue which somehow seems to be very outdated. After all, the same Bhatt had directed the immensely moving story of two brothers (Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav) in a film called Naam, which incidentally dealt with drugs. Vikram's enterprise is slow and has hardly any emotional moments. He fails to make his characters rise above the script. As an audience, one can hardly empathize with the three friends, rather you feel indifferent to the goings-on. Worse, the screenplay is cliché-ridden and the performances just about pass muster. While Aftab tries to play the Good Samaritan with ease, Rahul's menacing powers lose steam after a point. It's tiring to see Bipasa in skimpy clothes and sexy clinches, yet again. It's then left to Emraan Hashmi to make his debut a confident one.

As for the other departments, cinematography is hardly award material while Nadeem-Shravan's music has that 'have-I-heard-this-one-before' feel to it. Gappa Chakraborty's creation of 'footpath' looks more like cardboard cutouts than Mumbai's real picture.

All said and done, do not walk on this Footpath, chances are you may be run over!

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More about Footpath
- Music Review