Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
New York: A film that will grow on you
Coming as it does nearly three months after a big-ticket Bollywood release — Kabir Khan’s “New York” is a relief.
The story of three friends whose lives change in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York, the film manages to hold your attention for the most part, mainly because of some astute direction and its performances.
Sam (John Abraham), Maya (Katrina Kaif) and Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) are three friends who lead a carefree life on the grounds of New York State University.
Omar harbours a secret crush for Maya and is devastated to learn she loves Sam. He moves away from their lives, only to re-enter it seven years later, in totally different circumstances.
Why he does so and the circumstances emerging from that incident form the gist of the story. The film is a story of three people and their relationship over the years but it is also a comment on the aftermath of terrorism and the practices we use to curb this dreaded menace.
Like I said earlier, Khan manages to hold your attention for most of the film, and there are some moments of pure magic.
Of course, the film is a very simplistic version of facts, with Russians being portrayed as arms suppliers and the FBI headquarters shown to be in New York when it is in fact in Washington DC.
But such are the trappings of commercial Hindi cinema.
Also, I wish Khan had chopped off about 30 minutes from the running time. At more than three hours, this film grates on your nerves sometimes.
But you are willing to forgive these failings because “New York” has its heart in the right place.
The three main leads all share a great chemistry on screen and it adds so much to the film. John Abraham is brilliant, especially in the second half, as is Neil Nitin Mukesh.
The one who surprised me the most in this film though, was Katrina Kaif. Despite having the least screen time, she impresses with a fresh and riveting performance.
If you do have the time this weekend, I would say buy tickets for “New York”. It is a film that will grow on you. Also, it is better than much of the fare Bollywood churned out this year.