Late Ved Prakash Sharma was a Hindi novelist coming from a small city – Meerut (UP) who earned a lot of name and fame in the field of writing suspense novels in Hindi during the period of late seventies to early nineties. Despite being modestly educated, he was not only successful in becoming an immensely popular Hindi pulp-fiction writer but some of his novels got adapted for Bollywood movies also. He himself wrote screenplays and dialogues of Akshay Kumar starrer movies – Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995) and International Khiladi (1999). Today I am reviewing a Hindi movie which is based on his novel – Vidhwa Ka Pati. It’s Anaam (1992).Anaam (nameless) is the story of a youth (Armaan Kohli) who, after meeting a road accident while driving a stolen car, has become an amnesiac. In the hospital, when coming to his senses, he enquires everybody regarding his own name because he has completely lost his memory. Besides, it is found by the hospital people that he, in the presence of a young woman, gets an unexplainable arousal to throttle her. A rich businessman, Hyder Ali (Kiran Kumar) calls him his son, Sikandar and takes him to his home. Since this so-called Sikandar does not recognize anything or anybody and gets bored too, a youth of his own age-group, Roopesh (Anant Mahadevan) is deputed to give him company. Roopesh instigates the amnesiac young man to search for his true identity and in this quest, the amnesiac young man runs away from the house of Hyder Ali and reaches Pune where some people call him as Johnny and a young woman, Janice (Reshma Singh) claims to be his wife. The amnesiac youth starts living with Janice in her home but in the privacy, the strange arousal in him make him throttle her and Janice inadvertently gets murdered in his hands. Frightened, the young man sets the house (with the dead body of Janice) on fire and runs away from there, heading back to Mumbai.
However, while in the train, he gets frightened when coming across the police and instead of going back to Hyder Ali’s house, alights from the train on a local station. There, he gets another surprise when a little boy, Pappu (Master Imran) starts calling him as his Jiju (sister’s husband) and drags him to his home where there is a so-called widow, Meghna (Ayesha Jhulka) and her (and Pappu’s) mother (Anjana Mumtaz). Pappu and the mother tell the amnesiac youth that he is Aakash who is the fiance of Meghna. However Meghna doesn’t believe this theory that the amnesiac youth is her Aakash (despite his being look-alike of Aakash) because Aakash was killed by certain baddies and his funeral had also taken place. Now the amnesiac youth feels that he is not only a bit secure in that household but as a bonus, getting the genuine love and affection of Pappu and the mother also. Hence he, despite the protest of Meghna, starts living with them and simultaneously starts digging the background of Aakash’s murder also because he feels that either he himself is Aakash or Aakash was in some way or the other, related to him. He regains his memory in the climax and the mystery gets resolved.
The story of Anaam has been taken from Ved Prakash Sharma’s novel – Vidhwa Ka Pati (widow’s husband) and since the novel is pretty good, the premise was there to make a memorable suspense movie. The movie runs on the lines of the novel for the major part of it. However, prior to Shah Rukh Khan starrer Baazigar (1993), the Indian heroes were not conscienceless criminals or murderers. Hence the filmmaker, Ramesh Modi had to make certain alterations in the final reels and present a climax different from that in the novel. Further, he had to insert Bollywoodish songs and dances too in order to make a movie for the typical Indian spectators. These things did not go in the favour of the movie and the brilliant plot got wasted. The movie entertains but it’s by no means, a spellbinding suspense thriller as it could have been (and should have been).The performances are average. Armaan Kohli had got a great opportunity to showcase his talent in the complicated role of the amnesiac hero but despite his smart and handsome personality, he could not live up to the expectations associated with the intricate role. Ditto for Ayesha Jhulka who has presented a typical heroine of a Bollywoodish masaala movie whereas she could infuse life into the intense role of the ‘widow’ (fiance being dead) who is hell-bent upon seeking revenge from the murderers of her love. Supporting cast (including the villains) has also performed in a routine way. The only performer who deserves praise is the child artist, Master Imran.
Nadeem Shravan’s music is also not great. Only Oh Jaane Jaana and the title track (Main Kaun Hoon Main Kya Hoon Mujhko Pata Nahin Hai) are good to listen. Technical and production value aspects are also so-so.
Anaam has been made on a great story idea filled with mystery and thrill but it could not rise above a run-of-the-mill Bollywood movie. However it’s a neat and clean movie without any vulgarity and a decent one time watch. While recommending it to the mystery fans, I advise those who can read Hindi, to read the novel – Vidhwa Ka Pati which is much better than the movie.
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