Deewangee (2002)


Deewangee (2002)
Cast: Ajay Devgan, Akshaye Khanna, Urmila Matondkar
Director: Anees Bazmee
Music Director: Ismail Darbar
Nutshell: Thriller inspired by Primal Fear turns out to be better than expected
Reviewed by: Faiz Khan


Ever once in a while, a film jumps out and grabs you by the jugular, not because it is so good or exceptional but because you go in with zero expectations and come out of the film having been pleasantly surprised. Deewangee is one of those flicks even though it is heavily inspired by an English film, whose title I shan’t give away.

Raj (Akshaye Khanna) is a brilliant lawyer, with a reputation for fighting for the right cause whose path crosses that of Sargam (Urmilla). Now, what else would Ms Matondkar be but a pop artiste who dances more and moves to the beat and is the nation’s sensation. Well, inevitably, our legal beagle falls for the not so melodious tones being sung by Sargam. All is hunky dory until the brutal murder of the Music company head Ashwin Mehta (Vijayendra Ghatge) and a suspect is caught running away from the scene of the crime. The suspect turns out to be a stuttering and morose Tarang (Ajay Devgun) who also happens to be Sargam’s childhood sweetheart. Sargam then approaches Raj to defend Tarang which he agrees to do. Tarang has been caught with blood on his hands but claims not to be the murderer, having stumbled across his slashed body.

Tarang is put on trial. Raj puts forward a good case for his client but as he gets closer, the murkier the waters tend to get. It transpires that Tarang suffers from Schizophrenia and actually committed the murder under one of his violent turns. This is linked to Sargam whom he has loved since childhood and sees red if any harm comes to her..and it was because of an attempted rape attempt by the vile Ashwin that Tarang took the knife to him.

Raj secures a release to the Looney bin for Tarang but does not realise what he has in store for him because by now, Sargam and Raj make quite an item.

What sets this film apart is that although it is not original, being a copy, it certainly attempts at being different. We now have a story which deals with characters, not just heroes and heroines and the characters around. This has to be a good sign. Anees Bazmee’s previous film was Pyar to hona hi tha which was a remake of French Kiss. This film is a rather a curious choice for a remake but it has been suitably adapted, if a little long towards the second half. Bazmee manages to sustain interest and keeps to a gripping script if only letting go towards the end. Still, not a bad job at all.

Ajay Devgun plays the role of the Schizophrenic valiantly and one really has seen a marked improvement in the body of his work. This year in itself, he has had the Legend of Bhagat Singh, Company and now Deewangee which are different roles all of which have substance. Urmilla does nothing new here, the same dances, the same fear as in Kaun. No, this one will not help her much. Akshaye Khanna is now a pleasure to watch because he chooses roles, also for their characterisation and not just for screen time. Again, not quite black of white, he plays the lawyer superbly, caught in a predicament and using all the tricks in the book, to win the “battle”.

The film is let down by a mediocre score by Ismail Darbar to the extent that the songs slow the proceedings and dont even offer much in terms of melody. Other aspects of the film are upto speed and I for one would strongly recommend this as different and engrossing entertainment.