Behzad Khambata’s ambitious tale has all masalas of Bollywood which should be appreciated
This one is different from what you’ve earlier seen. A mix of terrorism, patriotism, fantasy, drama, and thrill all put together makes Blank. It is not only interesting to watch something unique on screen, the way it unfolds, especially in the grueling manner serves for a wholesome experience. Forget questioning the plausibility here, there are situations where you feel the makers should have kept the situations grounded. That’s one thing. What you have here is sheer entertainment.
Hanif (Karan Kapadia) is a suicide bomber who loses his memory and thus goes blank. He has a bomb attached to his heart, beyond which nobody knows any details. Enter ATS Chief S S Dewan (Sunny Deol) who takes it as a challenge to decode the mystery around the bomb and thus save the city from a potential threat.
Khambata’s story at first fits very well in a dramatic and sensational framework of Bollywood. You have elements of thrill, plot twists, decoding of mystery, investigation leading to information and threads- everything carefully put in- an effort to keep you invested. Its a novel thought mind you.
The ever burning issue of terrorism has been touched upon with a new twist of memory loss added with police trails. Calls for meaty entertainment. The build up with ingrained suspense in exciting inter-connecting with investigations taking place at different locations.
Its interesting to watch what happens. There are portions when the suicide bomber claims he doesn’t remember anything, what the mystery entails, and how will ATS crack it serve for engaging elements. Some moments are hard-hitting and make you ponder deep about society as a whole, most of whom involve the fantastically talented actor Jameel Khan.
Having said that, amatuer direction is to be blamed here. Having watched several films of such genre, its quite clwar even for a layman as to how easily things could be rectified. Shaky camera, abrupt cuts, flat sets add to the woes. The execution is the weak link. One or two hiccups here and there would have been fine. But there are things clearly inserted for the sake of convenience, never working well for the audience.
Sunny Deol is decently good, not great. He has a strong persona and makes you believe in the mission he’s undertaking. You don’t doubt his character’s intentions here. But he’s also been given lines and parts which are not at all genuine.
Karan Kapadia makes a confident debut. He makes a mark in his role and delivers a set of layers in his detailed character arc. Most of the film relies on him and he doesn’t disappoint in a rather naive portrayal.
Ishita Dutta is just okay and suffers majorly due to an underwritten character. Karanvir Sharma is fairly good and has his average moments.
Jameel Khan steals the show. You disgust him to an extent that you don’t want to see him on screen. He’s been given some important scenes and he makes the most of them.
Music is just okay. Nothing to be called close to worthy. Background score however is very good. While watching the film, you realize what a definitive score can do for the plot; conveys the intentions of makers really well at various points.
Cinematography by R Dee is reasonably okay, mostly poor. The camera is mostly shaky where it mattered the most. Production design by Rajinder Sharma could be better making the film more relatable.
Editing by Sanjay Sharma is decently done. There are any abrupt cuts. However the flow is in tune with the plot with enough twists and turns to keep you invested. It has several moments where you are left wanting for more. Twists, turns, and new revelations within the plot are timed intelligently.
For one, it is not a film promoted well. While it had the potential to give out a positive word of mouth with some more sense, flat execution or rather basic direction will keep the approach of the film limited.