Savi | Movie Review

Director: Abhinay Deo
Star Cast: Anil Kapoor, Divya Khossla, Harshvardhan Rane, Rageshwari Loomba, Mairaj Kakkar, M.K. Raina, Himanshi Choudhry
Language: Hindi
Available On: Theatrical release
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐(3/5)

Savi: Riveting Thriller With ‘Emo-tainment’

In Liverpool, a happy family’s life takes a dark turn when Nakul Sachdev (Harshvardhan Rane) gets arrested for the murder of his boss, who regularly humiliates him. His wife, Savi (Divya Khossla), is shocked, and their son, Aditya (Mairaj Kakkar), is desolate.

The cops primarily rely on circumstantial evidence, though Nakul insists he bumped into the actual murderer but did not see him, and the latter’s button came loose. Despite this, Nakul gets convicted for life (12 years), and Savi is determined to break him out of the high-security jail to fulfill their dream of a rosy future together.

To organize Nakul’s breakout, Savi must study the jail security, gather oodles of money, plan a foolproof escape to a country without an extradition treaty with Britain, and summon tons of determination and guts—along with a vital slice of luck! After studying loads of literature on jailbreaks, Savi meets one of the authors, Joydeep, a.k.a. J. Paul (Anil Kapoor), who has been in and out of jail (for valid reasons!) and enlists his moral (and more) help and guidance.

Script Analysis:
Parveez Sheikh and Aseem Arora’s adapted script introduces several modifications to the original, perhaps necessary for the Indian context. The script retains key elements, like Savi drawing a mind map on her house wall and later discarding these pictures, text, and notes in a dumpster or trash can outside her house when Adi and she leave it for good. Other common elements also persist, though I won’t mention them here.

The script alters key aspects, like the reason for Nakul’s transfer to a hospital and, above all, the timeframe. Savi must act within three days after Nakul has been in jail for seven months, adding a thrilling spin. The climax also deviates from the original movie, with the murder case remaining unresolved but decidedly closed in the minds of the investigating cops due to an ingenious device.

Though the film’s narrative becomes slightly ‘filmi’ with Paul’s extensive involvement, his character and role enhance the emotional and entertainment quotient, justifying why a big star like him accepted what is, by definition, a secondary, albeit pivotal, role.

Aseem Arora’s dialogues are lifelike, and the script does not have any loopholes because it follows the original premise closely.

Star Performance:
Anil Kapoor is in his element as a habitual fugitive. His post-climax scene is terrific in its casual approach. Made to wear multiple disguises, including that of an old woman, he highlights the cast. Divya Khossla is patently sincere as the central character, but in some demanding scenes, both her expressions and voice modulation fall short. In a few others, she shines, such as when she leaves her son Adi in the care of her friend, Simrit (Rageshwari Loomba Swaroop).

Harshvardhan Rane, as always, is competent and, again, underused! The actor has truly expressive eyes and needs and deserves better roles. Rageshwari is effective in her brief cameo, and the British actors are good in their brief appearances. M.K. Raina, as the father who craves to meet his son and family, is excellent in his brief appearances. But Himanshi Choudhry as Ayesha Hassan and Supreet Bedi as Anu just pass muster.

Direction, Music:
Abhinay Deo’s exceptional adaptation and Indianization of the TV serial epic 24: India proves his talent, though he did go slightly wrong with Game and Blackmail. His dark comedy, Delhi Belly, was brilliant, and this time, too, as director, he maintains superb command. The material could have lost its essence and impact during adaptation, but he maintains a tight grasp and command.

The music is alright for its limited use within the film and happily features proven talents like KK (his last recorded song, “Vaada Humse Karo”), Sunidhi Chauhan, and Shreya Ghoshal, though the composers are multiple, including Arkadeep Karmakar, whose background score is aptly evocative.

The Last Word:
Mukesh Bhatt and T-Series have an enviable record with movies like Aashiqui, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Sadak, and Aashiqui 2. Qualitatively, Savi matches their eminent collaborations, and we can only hope that the box office follows suit.

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