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Aks is the story of a hunter and his prey. A cop and a killer. Aks is the story of Manu Verma and Raghuvan. The story begins in the heart of Budapest. The Indian Defence minister is on a routine foreign visit. He reveals the true details of his diplomatic trip to his head of Security Manu Verma by informing him about the floppy which has valuable information that could affect the very destiny of the nation. On the other hand Intelligence sources have revealed to Manu Verma that a lone assassin long feared for his ruthlessness has been paid to eliminate the Defence minister. The shadowy figure is called Raguhvan, Manu Verma reaches the Indian Defence Minister just moments too late to save him and finds the statesman in a pool of blood Raguhvan has struck and vanished into thin air. Now the hunter becomes the hunted as Manu Verma tries to find Raghuvan. When he does find him something unexpected happens, which changes both Manu and Raguhvan forever. Written by
Yeda Yakub can be seen blinking in the sauna, after Raghavan kills him. See more »
[Manu, as Raghavan, spent a night with Neeta and Mahadevan]
Manu, where were you? I kept waiting up for you all of last night, what happened?
Insp. Manu Verma:
Duty... and beauty...
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'Aks' is probably one of the most underrated films. For years, it only remained in the good books of critics, because the mainstream movie goers rejected it straight away. Now 'Aks' didn't get the respect it deserved because of few things: 1. It's a supernatural drama (not masala) film. 2. It doesn't waste a single minute in things like upbeat romance and so on. Yes, there is romance, but Mehra has handled it differently. 3. The first half is fast but the film loses pace in the 2nd half and becomes more drama-oriented. 4. Strong performances by seasoned theater actors got less attention from glamour seeking audience. Yes they needed something that 'sells' in the market. Now, the plot! The film begins with Budapest, the capital of Hungary, where the Indian Defence Minister (Amol Palekar) is being escorted to a safe location by his security chief Manu Verma (Amitabh Bachchan) and his fleet. Amol tells Manu that he thinks security personnel are like machines as they have to work round the clock and always remain on high alert. We see that Defence Minister being spied upon and someone from a distant building is waiting to shoot him (The day of the jackal? Remember that?). Fortunately, Manu senses the danger and asks the fleet to take another way. Moments later, we see Manu going to Amol's room. Amol gives him a confidential floppy containing the names of all the suspects, who are plotting against the government and want to kill good leaders of the country. After taking the floppy, Manu draws a silencer equipped gun and shoots Amol point blank. Manu rushes outside and we see him finally getting to a lonely place, where he gets rid of his false heels and a heavy latex mask. We see that it's not Manu, but Raghavan Ghatge (Manoj Bajpai), a ruthless contract killer, who is in Budapest on an assignment to kill the Defence Minister. Despite hard trials, the real Manu fails to locate the killer. Raghavan returns to Mumbai and is given a contract to kill the Prime Minister (Mohan Agashe), who is also a popular leader. Manu is restless, because he couldn't carry out his responsibility properly. He meets his old colleague Pradhan (Kamal Chopra), a highly experienced cop. They both try to locate the killer unofficially and take help of an old (and now wheelchair bound) gangster Hanif Kasai (Virendra Saxena), who now works as a police informant. Hanif tells them that the killer is Raghavan. Pradhan finds that Raghavan frequents a club called 'Topaz Bar' to meet his girlfriend Neeta (Raveena Tandon) from time to time. He also comes to know that Raghavan lives with his close ally Narang (Vineeth Kumar) and his mentally retarded but full grown brother Mahadev (K.K. Raina), who has unusual calibre of making excellent latex masks! Time goes by and another gangster Yeda Yakub (Vijay Raaz) is killed by Raghavan. Pradhan finally goes to 'Topaz Bar' to nab Raghavan, but Raghavan is bit too clever and shoots Pradhan, killing him in the process. A desperate Manu finds a bleeding Pradhan and vows to arrest Raghavan. Findings show that Raghavan usually goes to meditate in a nearby jungle and races with the wolves! Manu doesn't know that Raghavan also knows black magic. Manu along with his team of trained commandos, goes to the forest to nab Raghavan, but Raghavan kills all the commandos one by one with sheer brutality. After a close encounter with death, Manu finally subdues Raghavan and takes him along. Manu asks Raghavan to tell the names of all his clients, who are plotting against the government, but Raghavan doesn't reveal anything. Manu even promises him life sentence instead of death penalty if he revealed those names, but Raghavan is determined. On the day Raghavan is being dragged to the gallows, he snatches a gun from a police officer and tries to kill Manu, but Manu shoots him and Raghavan dies. This is where the actual story begins. Raghavan's spirit possesses Manu and forces him to kill all those who mistreated or deceived him. Possessed by Raghavan's spirit, Manu begins to act like him and goes deranged. He shoots Narang, who double crossed him, kills two RAW agents, brutally rapes his wife Supriya (Nandita Das) and then kills Justice Balwant Choudhary (Pramod Moutho), who issued Raghavan a death penalty. A doubtful Supriya comes to know that Manu is possessed by the vengeful spirit of Raghavan and seeks help of her spiritual Guru (Salim Ghouse), who tells him that spirits also follow the course of nature and can be defeated during total solar eclipse, when their powers vain out. Finally on the day of total solar eclipse, Manu uses his will power to drive away Raghavan's spirit, but the spirit now possesses a junior police officer Arjun (Abhimanyu Singh) thus asserting the essence of Bhagwad Gita, which states that a soul is immortal and nothing can destroy it. Aks can be interpreted in many ways. On the spiritual front, it validates the existence of good and evil spirits. On the entertainment front, It disappoints. Films like 'Aks,' 'Samay - 2003,' 'Gehrayee - 1980', and 'Raat - 1992' are actually made for serious audiences, who don't have qualms taking non-spicy food. If you like the hazy world of spirits and reincarnation, then you may give 'Aks' a try. It's a good combination of horror and thriller, but again, this combination has gone very artistic here. The use of drumbeats to build up the atmosphere and a continuous feeling of 'Aks' being a theatrical show rather than a full fledged movie, is really impressive. The drums also bring some hypnotic touch to the scenes (Remember 'Scalps - 1983'?) and remain with you for a very long time. I watched it 15 years ago, but can still play all those scenes in my head effortlessly. Overall, a great effort by Mehra, not in terms of family entertainment, but for those who are 'mystery-horror' buffs. Good one!
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