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Romancing the cop
For more sundry thrills, watch Gunaah

Ronjita Kulkarni

You wonder whether to admire their persistence or laugh at the efforts. Hindi cinema has been trying to figure out Indian police for so long you would think they would have got something right by now. What you get, still, is a black-and-white conclusion.

Policemen are usually shown as the tobacco-chewing, brothel-visiting regular bad cop who has connections deep down from the underworld to the minister. Or he is the policeman with a vengeance, who is ready to lay his life for his vardi (uniform) and country.

There can be no other type of cop.

Gunaah is no different. Good cop Prabha Narayan (Bipasha Basu) has had a very bad childhood. An illegitimate daughter of a prostitute, Prabha was forced to commit murder. And if she can reform one murderer, she believes she can peacefully wash the blood off her hands.

Bad cop Pandey (Irfan Khan) loves to live life kingstyle with his cronies and bully his junior Prabha. The two constantly clash with other and try to put the other down.

But Amol Shetge, who makes his directorial debut in Hindi films with Gunaah, fails to give the police a logical portrayal. Bipasha is shown wearing low-necked outfits on duty. She even dresses up and takes a jailed criminal to his isolated house in the middle of the night to extract a confession.

Instead of making him confess, she confides in him. A raunchy dream sequence follows.

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Shetge makes his police chase look immature. Prabha goes to criminal Aditya's (Dino Morea) house to nab him, but gets carried away when she sees him bathing. The chase that follows --- Aditya on his feet and Prabha in the police jeep --- does not excite. The policemen and Prabha shoot at Aditya senselessly, making you wonder if they want him dead or alive.

Please note he is only a suspect at the time. Of course, none of the bullets get him.

Dino Morea, Bipasha Basu in Gunaah The director tries to attack the police system by stating that to protect the society, one has to refine the protectors. What's more, his way of improving the police force is to kill the bad cops! Of course, the good cops 'punish' those killers.

All this only makes the climax a joke.

The Raaz team --- Bipasha Basu, Dino Morea and Ashutosh Rana and producer Mukesh Bhatt --- meets again in Gunaah.

Once again, like Raaz, Bipasha plays the central character with ease, if you can ignore her accented Hindi. She may not be a natural actress, but her beauty and screen presence captivate you. Her character, however, is not convincing as she is made to look more like a model than a cop. Besides, it is never really shown how she draws Aditya out of his shell and more important, when, and why, she falls in love with him.

Dino Morea has a very passive role in Gunaah. So passive that he does not have any dialogues in the first half of the film. As the wronged criminal, Dino wears a hurt and confused look most of the time. He is said to be an ex-fire fighter (this detail plays no part in the film), who resorts to violence when his journalist father is humiliated, tortured and killed by the police.

Ashutosh Rana repeats his Raaz performance as a slightly eccentric tramp (in Raaz, he played a college professor). He helps Bipasha solve her case.

Bipasha Basu If there is one actor who rises above the rest in this movie it is Irfan Khan. As bad guy, Khan also lends some light moments in the film with his excellent comic timing. A noted theatre actor who won international critical acclaim with his lead role in Asif Kapadia's The Warrior, he is noticeably at ease with the camera.

The music, strictly okay, interrupts the narration and is sometimes silly. All the songs are dream sequences. The most ridiculous one as to be when Bipasha dreams up a raunchy number when she, the policewoman, has just nabbed Aditya, a murderer.

The film, while racy in the first half, loses steam in the second. The dialogues are strictly B-grade and make you cringe.

While Gunaah, a small-budget film, will recover its money, it is doubtful whether it will surpass the superhit of the year so far Raaz.

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