Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and half stars)
Star cast: Adhyayan Suman, Ariana Ayam, Om Puri, Deepti Naval, Madan Jain, Shekhar Suman
Director: Shekhar Suman
What’s Good: The borrowed concept which is delicious and extremely absorbing.
What’s Bad: The shocking execution which fails to even qualify as mediocre. Adhyayan Suman is still just as shamefully stiff.
Loo break: Plenty
Watch or Not?: If you want to watch a great film that Shekhar Suman was attempting on , watch Awake but definitely stay miles away from this convoluted, terrible affair. Shekhar Suman is clearly cut out for wit but in his maiden venture the director shows no flair of the intelligence he is known for. Watching the film was a punishment of sorts and despite a notable ensemble cast, Adhyayan Suman’s half hearted plastic performance with Ariana Ayam’s tryst to match up Adhyayan’s bad acting fails the film frustratingly.
Aditya (Adhyayan Suman) is a rich soul kept under the umbrella care of his mother (Deepti Naval). Aditya is suffering from an ailment that is near fatal and the cure requires an urgent transplant. Amidst all the health issues, he falls frantically in love with Ria (Ariana Ayam) who works at a hotel in Dubai.
Aditya’s first choice of doctor is Trehan who is floored with Aditya’s mother but he rather prefers taking help from a lesser known surgeon (Shekhar Suman) whom he trusts whole heartedly. But is that the right move or Aditya gets trapped in a web that is hard to untangle?
Heartless Review: Script Analysis
Roger Ebert has written about Awake that it was a lethal film. Shekhar Suman perhaps took the cue to replicate the same but the distasteful disaster he creates is sad. For script, the writers have lazily lifted every possible move from the Hollywood thriller. Is there any originality in the film? Definitely no. If someone has watched Awake, they should stick to it because Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba do a mighty fine job in comparison to the doom we are forced to watch.
There are myriad reasons why the story doesn’t work. Even if I cast aside the adaptation saga and that there is no concept of novelty in the film’s effort, the film still has pertinent problems like it is too predictable to stand as a thriller. As it is lifted films are totally unacceptable to me but a lot of magic can be done on the execution level. However, Heartless team decides to remain loyal to their unoriginal script and not apply any intrinsic creativity to formulate something new.
The thriller also gets too sappy which is a Bollywood-ish tendency and even the script doesn’t shirk from falling into such loose gaps. The over-the-top melodrama is impossible to digest and kills away the thriller factor which the story might have had. The script is overdrawn, far stretched and boring and perhaps it is not exactly the script which fails but the direction which is all linear and fails to try any other modules.
The film’s first half is so yawn worthy, because we simply know where it is all heading. Rich man meets poor woman tale is all there in the film. The entire first half is wasted in establishing unduly the romance of its lead characters. Post-intermission there are definitely more thrills but all stale and seen. The medical talk comes off as quite gibberish as I’m sure even the writers did not apply much common sense in unraveling it. I would any day trade to watch Awake or even the sitcom Grey’s Anatomy which is far more medical but way more impactful in all its promiscuity.
Heartless Review: Star Performances
May I begin with who star? I gauged that the reference is being made to Deepti Naval and Om Puri. Despite their limited screen time, the veterans shine through the dismal affair. Seasoned actors like them manage to steal attention even in the most grim stories.
Adhyayan Suman can’t act. As harsh as this may sound but that is the only prevailing notion I gathered about the young actor. Join a film school buddy, you absolutely need it.
Ariana Ayam is just as bad. Thanks to their entirely forced and boring love act, we see no chemistry in the film. How will their romance come off as interesting or even believable if the characters are so passionless in their work. Kissing on screen doesn’t reflect passion but to make it look convincing is the trick. Very few younger guns even absorb this basic pre-requirement of great on-screen chemistry. Lip locking is unsatisfying if the love we see doesn’t seem into us.
It is perhaps only Shekhar Sumar whose acting impresses me entirely besides Puri and Naval. He might not be great director but he remains an energetic and very enthusiastic actor to his credit.
Heartless Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
It seems, Shekhar Suman could not decide the genre he wanted to work on. On many levels it is a half hearted love tale, on others it tries to be a thriller. It manages none sorrowfully. The novice filmmaker fails to infuse anything new in a thriller that we have seen. The punches become predictable and hence the overall product doesn’t rise beyond boring. He however tries to harp more on the mother-son relationship of the film which partly works. In fact, any thriller must shock you, must enthrall you; however Suman bores you, compels you to walk out constantly.
The music was just as uninspiring and the editing department doesn’t understand the needs of a thriller. They make the film more tiresome than it is. The screenplay has no zing, no creative panache. It is not even close to the supremely engaging ‘lethal’ Awake.
Heartless Review: The Last Word
Shekhar Suman’s Heartless is a disappointingly flat film. With the story lacking novelty and the filmmaker failing to fill in anything new or intelligent in it, the film loses mostly because of Adhyayan Suman and his on screen lady love Ariana Ayam. Awake had me haunted for days, Heartless too does the same with equal intensity just in an entirely different sense. It will take me very long to pass through the troubling persistent boredom the film filled me with. I am going with a 1.5/5 for this. It was an unmatchable fiasco.
Heartless releases on 7th February, 2014.
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