It’s quite uncommon to come across a Bollywood film with a strong medical backdrop. More often than not, our filmmakers stay away from the grim realities of an operation theatre. As the result, the audience seldom gets to go beyond the consolatory view of the OT’s door-window. Ankur Arora Murder Case manages to fill this void.
However, the whole effort leaves one asking for more because it lacks finesse. Sloppy editing coupled with soulless dialogues and unneeded adherence to clichés play spoilsport.
Directed by Suhail Tatari, the film follows this based-on-a-true-story episode where a mother (Tisca Chopra) loses her only child to medical negligence. She would have remained ignorant of what really happened to her son if it weren’t for the selflessness of an intern (Arjun Mathur) who decides to whistleblow. His opponent is an arrogant but brilliant doctor (Kay Kay Menon) who can’t afford to let the truth destroy his hard-earned reputation. Thus unfolds a battle that ultimately ends up in a courtroom.
Speaking of which, Hindi films should visit it more as they have clearly lost the ‘legal’ touch prevalent in our older films. No wonder Jolly LLB seemed so refreshing.
Coming back to this thriller, the plot is coherent and doesn’t deviate -- except when it tries to overdo a particular emotion. Be it the emptiness between an argumentative couple or the sequences detailing maternal angst or the witnesses turning hostile. On top of that, most of the dialogues lack the punch required to go with a rather gripping screenplay.
At the risk of handing out a spoiler, there is a monologue where Kay Kay does what Alec Baldwin did 30 years ago in Malice. Within a span of about seven minutes, the bespectacled actor summarises why doctors are no less than God. Although a remarkable delivery, editing flaws ruin the flow.
Performance-wise, Arjun is promising as an affable lead actor who can’t bear to lead a guilty life. There are very few young actresses who can emote as convincingly as Tisca in a mother’s disguise. Paoli Dam as the prosecuting lawyer has her share of tearjerkers while Vishakha Singh somehow stays looped to her timid character.
If only the makers of this otherwise decent film had gone out of their soggy comfort zone, something far better could have been the case.