Bollywood's love affair with Hollywood shows no sign of waning with Ek Ajnabee, a respectable remake of Tony Scott's Man On Fire. This time round the action shifts from Mexico to Bangkok with Indian screen icon Amitabh Bachchan walking comfortably in Denzel Washington's stride as Suryaveer Singh, an aging army commando who is brought out of his alcoholic depression to bodyguard a wealthy businessman's daughter. Dripping with guns, guts and plenty of bloodshed, this action flick has a heart buried beneath its brutality.
When eight-year-old Anamika (Rucha Vaidya) is kidnapped and shot dead, Suryaveer (Bachchan) is physically and mentally traumatised. Fuelled with rage he does what any other self-respecting tough guy would do: take revenge. Armed only with his tenacity, expertise and an intimidating pair of sunglasses, he vows to track down the perpetrators and avenge her parents Ravi (Vikram Chatwal) and Nikasha (Perizaad Zorabian). With the help of ex-army colleague Shekhar (Arjun Rampal), he pieces together clues and discovers the heart of a conspiracy, one that takes both him and the viewer on an interesting journey.
"SHARP AND FRANTIC"
Having learned his trade working on Hollywood movies such as The Ice Storm and A Perfect Murder, director Apoovra Lakhia brings visual style and suspense to this gripping adaptation. His execution of action sequences is as sharp and frantic as the cityscape the story is set against. But the real drama comes not in the vendetta portions of the film, but the heart-warming scenes between Bachchan and Vaidya in which we see his troubled character form an unlikely friendship with the young girl as she gives his life new meaning. That alone is worth the ticket price.
In Hindi with English subtitles.