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Hot babes, hotter action

Priya Ganapati in Mumbai | July 11, 2003 17:28 IST

Ajay DevganMissiles, viruses, ransom demands and pretty babes.

Welcome to Bollywood's latest thriller, Qayamat, the story of a city -- in this case, Mumbai -- under threat from a bunch of baddies who seem keen to contaminate the city's drinking water sources with virus-tipped missiles.

Qayamat, Bollywood's remake of the The Rock, is an action caper that has Hollywood's influence looming large across each of its department.

Before we can get into the details, here's an introduction to the cast:

Who's Who? (In order of appearance)

Suneil Shetty: He is Akram Sheikh, the patriotic chief of the Indian commandos. The good guy, he leads the charge against the ISI baddie, the villains, the moll and the assorted extras with guns that populate the background.

Arbaaz Khan and Sanjay Kapoor: As Ali and Abbas, they are introduced as the 'brainy' guys who have crossed over to the evil side. Which means that instead of just blowing up people with missiles, they want to add a vial of a deadly virus into the picture so that it can wreak twice the destruction. Ah! What joys a little intelligence can help achieve.

Isha Koppikar: The moll in the story, she's Laila, the favourite of both brothers. Tall, gorgeous and kinky, she's the drool factor in the movie.

Ajay Devgan: Laconic and brooding, he is Rachit -- the hero who gets the movie going and perks up the audience's interest. Stylish yet quiet, he throws so many more punches than dialogues that, towards the end, when he actually delivers a dialogue, it becomes the high point of the movie.

Neha Dhupia

Neha Dhupia: The former Miss India-Universe makes her debut as Rachit's love interest Sapna, a role that is small and completely undemanding.

And the rest: Chunky Pandey who returns to Hindi films after a long time is a scientist who dresses like he's in Hawaii even though he is in Mumbai.

Riya Sen who screeches, rants, giggles and gets on your nerves to such an extent that when her boyfriend tells her to shut up you want to jump with joy.

And Aashish Chowdary as Rahul, the researcher with the expertise to defuse the virus-tipped missiles.

Is the story any good?

Qayamat is 'inspired' by the Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage starrer The Rock. The Indian version goes like this: two arms dealers Ali & Abbas and their moll Laila have held 230 tourists hostage on an island that was formerly Elphinstone Jail. The evil trio threaten to fire seven missiles tipped with a deadly virus at Mumbai's lakes if their demands for Rs 1,500 crores and a safe escape in the form of a ship are not met.

Commando chief Akram Sheikh is forced to turn to Ali & Abbas' former pal, Rachit, for help. Rachit is now in solitary confinement and severely drugged. Along with Rahul and the rest of the commandos, he and Akram have to beat the bad guys and save Mumbai. 

An original story was never the high point of any new Hindi movie. So what keeps this one going?

Qayamat has some really slick action. It also brings terms like biological weapons, viruses and anti-virus to Hindi films, which may not be such a good thing after all since it may escape the comprehension of many in the audience.

Sanjay F Gupta's cinematography is the strong suit here. It gives Qayamat the look of a Hollywood movie and makes big screen viewing a pleasure. Adding a high point to the action sequences is the background score, which heightens the impact many of the scenes.


For an action thriller, Qayamat makes a very slow start. The first half of the movie is filled with songs. The Ajay Devgan-Neha Dhupia love story is out of place. By the interval, the thriller has lost pace.

The second half is completely taken over by action. Unfortunately, Qayamat takes a good thing and stretches it so much that you get tired of it.

Bang bang, dishoom-dishoom, thwack, slap! There's only so much you can take. Over 60 continuous minutes of it clearly has to be beyond anyone's threshold. Raveena Tandon and Suniel Shetty

So what's the point we are trying to make here?

Qayamat is a desi reproduction of Hollywood action fare like Mission Impossible or the The Rock. Go for it only if you like imitations.

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Suniel Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Aashish Chowdhary, Isha Koppikar, Riya Sen, Raveena Tandon (special appearance) 
Director: Harry Baweja
Producer: Pammi Baweja
Music: Nadeem-Shravan

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