Naqaab is a thriller which no doubt has suspense and plenty of twists and turns. In fact every time the audiences feel they no where the story is heading, a new twist arises taking the audience by surprise. In that sense Naqaab creates and sustains the drama and suspense right till the end. However what goes against the film is the script, which somehow may seem downright bizarre to some while incredulous to others. Although Naqaab comes across as a fairly average film, it is the believe ability quotient that works against it. After watching the film one tends to ask the question ‘can this actually happen in real life’ as it seems like the script does not mesh with reality. Also at many points the screenplay too unfolds with many unbelievable aspects. So while the film works in terms of a suspense thriller, it’s the storyline which often seems irrational and unbelievable. Nonetheless the film comes across as average due to the suspense and the relatively decent performances.
Naqaab, like most Abbas-Mustan films has been inspired by a Hollywood flick. The film belongs to the suspense-thriller genre and has been directed by the duo Abbas-Mustan. The film’s music has been composed by Pritam. Naqaab stars Bobby Deol as Karan Khanna, Akshaye Khanna as Vicky, Urvashi Sharma as Sophie, Vikas Kalantri, Raj Zutshi etc. The film’s tagline is ‘Disguised Intentions’.
Sophie is a beautiful young independent girl who is determined to make a success of her life. She works hard at a burger joint to make ends meet as she comes from a middle class family. Karan Khanna, a millionaire one day meets Sophie and immediately falls head over heels in love with her. Karan wants to marry Sophie and offers her his home, stability and money. Sophie accepts the proposal and gets engaged to Karan. However one day Sophie meets the charming Vicky, a struggling actor who will do anything to make it big in the film world, at a party. Vicky is funny, smart, a complete charmer and he seems to have charmed Sophie.
Gradually as Vicky and Sophie spend time together they begin to be drawn to each other even as Karan seethes with anger. At the last minute Sophie even breaks up her marriage with Karan. However this is not a simple love triangle as no one is actually whom they seem to be. Every one Karan, Sophie and Vicky seem to be pawns in a bigger game. A game which is being played and where people seem to be acting out roles which are not really them. So what game is this? Who will win this game? What will be the fate of the three pawns Sophie, Karan and Vicky?
Abbas-Mustan refrain from turning their film into the done to death love triangle, they add several twists and turns regularly throughout the film which grabs the viewers attention. They give all the protagonists a varied and wide range of shades to enact; the actors are given black, white as well as grey shades which makes them much more realistic. And one very interesting aspect that the director duo makes use of is technology which plays a central role. Abbas-Mustan keeps the suspense alive right till the end and even the climax is not what it seems. All this makes the film an average suspense flick which manages to keep audiences engrossed.
However after the entire story and climax is revealed, one tends to feel that the storyline is absurd and implausible. The script seems bizarre as the concept is extremely different and may seem difficult to digest for many audiences. Also the screenplay often takes liberties with many aspects and angles in the film. The motives of the protagonists often don’t come across as strong and convincing.
The editing though seems crisp and the film is kept pacy where new twists are incorporated every now and then. The film does not drag as the length too is around 2 hrs. The music is average with the song ‘Ek Din’ being decent hearing. The execution by the directors is average too as there is a lot of suspense. Dialogues are average. However cinematography does not really get it right, as many times the sets look very fake and even Dubai where the film is shot is not explored well. The look though outwardly stylish and glossy does not keep up with today’s times.
Performances though definitely take one by surprise. Debutant actress Urvashi Sharma looks good and what is even better is that she performs naturally and with ease. She gets a good role where she is able to perform a wide range of emotions. Akshaye Khanna too is convincing as he plays his role with confidence. Bobby Deol has played a rich guy in so many films that it’s a bit stale now. But nonetheless in the latter half he too gets to make an impact and does so with ease. The other actors get limited screen space and don’t make that much of an impact.
Naqaab comes across as an average time pass flick as it has plenty of suspense, drama, song and dance, good performances and a fairly decent execution. However the script puts a damper on things as it has a concept which is fairly difficult to digest. However at the box-office it may have an average response due to its ability to engross audiences with the suspense.