2008 l U/A l 131 Mins l Rating:
Mukhbiir is a 2008 Indian thriller film directed by the Mani Shankar. Filmed in Hindi, the film revolves around the life and events surrounding an Indian spy. The film stars actor Sameer Dattani as the spy, and Om Puri, Sunil Shetty, Sushant Singh, Rahul Dev, Jackie Shroff and Raima Sen play the supporting roles. After being orphaned at the age of 12 and living with incompatible relatives, Kailash ends up on the streets, is picked by police and lodged in a cell at the age of 18. It is here he will be interrogated by S. P. Rathod and given an option of either rotting in jail or spying for him. He undertakes to co-operate fully with Rathod, undergoes training, and infiltrates a gang of Andhra Pradesh Naxalites - successfully arranging the death of its' leader, Mahendra Thapa. Kailash is made aware that the greatest threat he faces is from the police themselves - who consider him fully dispensable. Thereafter he is given a new identity, Vinayak Deviprasad Marathe, and instructed to infiltrate a gang run by Mammu, which he not only does but also befriends Mammu's step-son, Biju, as well as invites sexual attention from Mammu's wife, Didi. Biju is killed in a police encounter, while Pasha kills Mammu.
Mukhbiir, Sameer Dattani, Rahul Dev, Om Puri, Alok Nath, Kelly Dorjee, Sushant Singh, Rajendranath Zutshi, Raima Sen, Supriya Karnik, Beneka
by Taran Aadarsh | Posted Aug 29, 2008
"It's the most dangerous profession in the world," says director Mani Shankar. MUKHBIIR closely looks into the dangerous life and times of a mukhbiir -- an interesting idea no doubt. But the story bears a striking resemblance to RGV's CONTRACT and that takes away the novelty aspect. Of course, Mani Shankar delves deeper in MUKHBIIR and the outcome is watchable at places, but fails to impress in totality.
The culprit? The writing does not hold. A couple of moments are truly noteworthy. The sequences between Om Puri and Sammir Dattani, the Alok Nath - Sushant Singh portions, the mukhbiir converting to Islam... well penned, well executed, well enacted portions all. But MUKHBIIR stumbles and fumbles midway. The romantic side of the mukhbiir [Sammir - Raima Sen] is half-baked. Also, the climax -- the lifeline of a film -- looks like a rushed job.
Let's elaborate. Sammir sends an SOS message to the boy-courier, who in turn faxes it to Om Puri's wife, who in turn speaks to the minister [Jackie Shroff], who in turn sends the commandos to eliminate the gangster [Rahul Dev] -- it looks completely fake. A better culmination was the need of the hour.
To sum up, MUKHBIIR could've been a riveting experience, but it fails to register an impact.
MUKHBIIR is about a young man [Sammir Dattani] and the many masks he wears. This is the story of the many lives he has to live, the many deaths he has to die. The job requires him to be ruthless and on one such occasion, he even shoots down his handler.
Later, he's on a mission. He converts to Islam, joins a gang to get to the root of the issue and comes face to face with the terrorist [Rahul Dev].
There's no denying that Mani Shankar has handled the subject well. A number of scenes prove that the director knows what he's talking, but the writing lets him down completely. Cinematography is alright. Dialogues are natural.
Sammir gets into the skin of the character and comes up with a fine performance. It's a difficult role to portray and given the fact that Sammir is pitted against actors of calibre like Om Puri, Sushant Singh and Alok Nath, he holds his head high. Om Puri excels yet again. Ditto for Sushant Singh, who is remarkable. Suniel Shetty does a fair job. His exit looks sudden. Jackie Shroff is wasted. Raima Sen gets no scope absolutely. What is she doing in this film? Alok Nath is first-rate. Kelly Dorjee is okay.
On the whole, MUKHBIIR is a weak product. At the box-office, it has dim chances.