With "Jurm," a whodunit-revenge drama that melds Hollywood-style storyline with Bollywood conventions, helmer Vikram Bhatt comes up with his most enjoyable exercise since "Raaz" (2002). Though local B.O. was weak on February release, there's enough action, glamor and mild twists here to keep offshore buffs of mainstream Hindi cinema entertained on ancillary.

With “Jurm,” a whodunit-revenge drama that melds Hollywood-style storyline with Bollywood conventions, helmer Vikram Bhatt comes up with his most enjoyable exercise since “Raaz” (2002). Though local B.O. was weak on February release, there’s enough action, glamor and mild twists here to keep offshore buffs of mainstream Hindi cinema entertained on ancillary.

Bobby Deol (a notch better than his usual blank playing) is Avinash, a yuppie Mumbai businessman who appears to have murdered his wife, Sanjana (Lara Dutta). Pleading innocence, he recaps his marriage in flashback to the cops, is sentenced to life imprisonment and, after escaping and uncovering the truth, sets about punishing the guilty parties, who’ve since relocated to Malaysia. Liveliest perf comes from former beauty queen Gul Panag as Sonia — a pal who’s secretly in love with Avinash — with solid support from Milind Soman as his lawyer buddy and Vivek Shauq as a motormouth Indian cabbie in Kuala Lumpur. Frequently unbelievable plotting is well sustained on its own terms, and musical numbers (especially the propulsive “This Heart of Mine,” set at a masked ball) are way above average. Title literally means “Crime.”

Jurm

India

Production

A KPS Films production. Produced by K.P. Singh. Executive producers, Aashish Singh, Anurag Singh.Directed by Vikram Bhatt. Associate director, Sujeet Mondal. Screenplay, Girish Dhamija, Neeraj Pahtak, Sanjay Bhatia.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Pravin Bhatt; editor, Kuldip Mehan; background music, Raju Rao; song music, Anu Malik, Anand Raj Anand; lyrics, Dev Kohli, Rahat Indori; art director, R. Verman. Reviewed on videodisc, London, April 23, 2005. Hindi dialogue. Running time: 161 MIN. (I: 81 MIN.; II: 80 MIN.).

With

Bobby Deol, Lara Dutta, Milind Soman, Gul Panag, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vivek Shauq, Firdaus Mewawala, Mohit Sitaram, Shakti Kapoor, Milind Gunaji.
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