/ produced by A.M Rathnam / directed
by S. Shankar / starring Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji &
Amrish Puri / music by A.R Rahman / lyrics by Anand
A perfect example of over-the-top masala, Nayak tells the
story of Shivaji, a camera man who takes the place of the Chief
Minister for a day and soon usurps the wicked ruler permanently.
Shivaji's tough rules and big heart revolutionize the country,
but not without vast consequences, and he is forced to balance
his love for the village girl Manjari with his political duties
while dodging the former Chief Minister's assassination
I really enjoyed the humorous aspects of this film. The early
scene with the glowing "clap/laugh" signs and the
bored audience made me laugh out loud, and even Johnny Lever's
scenes are relatively comedic, especially when he gets beaten up
by the hijra for calling them "eunuchs."
enjoyed the choreography, and I thought the picturizing was fun
and funky--sometimes a little TOO funky. Speaking of funky: the
costuming definitely shows improvement over some of Anil
Kapoor's previous films. The flashy costumes used in the
picturizing are absolutely gorgeous, like the various royal
costumes seen during "Saiyyan."
Some of the
dialogue is great, other parts of the script are completely
ridiculous, but it works as a whole to create a delightful
masala flick. The writers managed to handle subjects like
casteism, poverty, and police negligence surprisingly well,
given the film's genre. Without ruining the plot, I can safely
say that the riot scene is dramatic without being melodramatic,
and the scene where Shivaji steps outside to take a call from
Bansal ripped my heart out. Of course, it's not masala without
SOME melodrama, so they threw some crazy twists in to the
mix...and I actually liked most of them! Anil's character
creates a minor plothole when he suspends just about everybody
in an authority position, leaving the state virtually
leaderless, but like most Bollywood movies, Nayak
expects you to suspend your sense of reality for its duration.
aggitating issue is the divide between the first half of the
film and the second half, which are held together by some rather
shakey plot threads. Overall, the film is well-shot,
well-written, and enjoyable, but does suffer from a slight lack
of fluidity, as well as some annoying
"zoom-in-zoom-out" shots during the sillier songs.
And what is it about Anil Kapoor that tugs on
our heart strings? Even when he's playing the most disgusting
human being on the planet, he manages to draw you in with his
charisma and magnetism, and Nayak is no different.
(Although I still want to give him a haircut and shave off that
ugly mustache, ugh!) His parents--especially his mother--are the
cutest elders I've ever seen in a masala flick!
Rani Mukerji wows you with her good looks as soon as she walks
on screen, and she gives a strong performance as the spunky
Manjari. She looks especially stunning during the montage of
video clips Shivaji recorded throughout the day.
was one of the best actors of his generation; despite his
typecasting as a "stern father figure," he was always
able to play a variety of rules, including this performance as a
villain. Sushmita Sen really does nothing for me, and her
special appearance during "Shakalaka Baby" gets old
fast when she tries to speak Spanish, but she certainly dances
well. Paresh Rawal is the real gem from this cast, and his
character Bansal is easily one of the best characters in the
film. The only major issue that I had with the characters was
that a few were rather 2-dimensional because they were defined
by a single personality trait. As a whole, however, I loved the
cast and thought they performed marvelously.
The soundtrack isn't as lyrically beautiful as Dil
Se, but it still manages to create some poetry; the
soundtrack isn't as musically catchy as Om Shanti Om,
but it's still fun. While I prefer to watch "Tu Achcha
Lagta Hai" in-film because of its obnoxiously cute
picturizing, it's also a good stand-alone song. "Shakalaka
Baby" is very upbeat, and "Chalo Chale Puriva"
and "Chalo Chale Mitwa" have great lyrics. I like
"Ruki Shukhi Roti," although it's so damn saccharine
that it'll choke you with its sweetness if you try to take it
seriously. Nayak boasts only one 5 star song, "Saiyyan,"
but it also lacks anything below a 3.5, so while it isn't the
best soundtrack out there, it brings some unique elements to the
genre and is definitely worth a listen.
From far away, Nayak looks ridiculous. The
main plot about an ordinary news reporter becoming a government
official for a day and completely revolutionizing the lives of
thousands of people is ludicrous; we all know it would never
happen in real life. And yet that's what gives this movie its
feel-good power. By portraying the main character as a
simple-man-turned-hero, Nayak touches not only its vast
and varied Indian audience, but its largely middle class western
audience as well. This indulgent escape from everyday life,
combined with an adorable love story, creates a wonderful film
that you'll watch over and over again. I wholeheartedly
recommend Nayak to everyone, especially if you've never
seen an Anil Kapoor film before: he'll win you over in a matter
reviewed by Kragey