Even Anil Kapoor can’t save this dumb thriller – IANS Rating: **1/2

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) If wishes were movies, then beggars would act. Or, if aspirations were power, the wannabes would conquer.

That’s precisely what many giants of Hindi cinema have become, what with their cravings turning into opportunities fulfilling their desires. Only because they have the power (read money!) to make a movie starring one from within their family.

I am not grudging their success, but if you’re the audience, then it is a blow to your brain. That’s it!

‘Savi’ is produced by Mukesh Bhatt, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar under the banners of Vishesh Films and T-Series Films, and, as the publicity material indicates, it is a modern-day adaptation of the mythological story of Savitri and Satyavan.

With Divya Khossla playing the titular character of Savi, or Savitri Sachdeva, the film begins with her driving, furiously, zigzagging across snow-clad mountainous paths in the middle of the night in Liverpool, UK. She stops, pulls out a male body, drags it to a corner, plonks it against a railing and whizzes away.

Next we are told in the flashback that Savi has a happy family with husband Nakul (Harshvardhan Rane) and son Adi. Their world falls apart when Nakul becomes the key accused in a murder, that too of the boss of a construction company. The family is shattered as Nakul is picked up by detectives. Nakul insists he is being framed and Savi too is convinced of his innocence.9

Crushed and traumatised, Savi must act fast and save her husband and family. Once in prison, Nakul is tortured by the inmates and risks losing his life if he does not comply with their unreasonable demand that he engage in drug trafficking.

A helpless Savi looks for ways to help Nakul, come what may. She then orchestrates a jailbreak (no less!) to free him, enlisting the help of an ex-convict, Joydeep Paul (Anil Kapoor), who has many books to his credit.

What follows as a jailbreak thriller is Savi’s persistent struggle to comprehend the intricacies involved in the judicial proceedings, the logistics entailing day-to-day prison activities, and the state of her finances. She wonders how to augment her expenses to be able to pay Paul and also buy a gun to fight criminals along the way. Her bold escape plan seems foolproof but includes a risk, which she is willing to take at any cost.

Fortunately for her, Paul takes to her and is willing to help her execute her plan, and is also forever ready with elaborate disguises. Paul and Savi orchestrate Nakul’s daring jailbreak, even as the Liverpool police uncover many clues at Savi’s home when she goes missing. It becomes a cat and mouse game as Savi relentlessly pursues her mission. 

There have been many films made on similar story lines in Hollywood — and not all of them have been worth watching. Nearly all of them, barring a movie like ‘Danger Diabolic’, had the criminal minds getting away with murder even in the climax.  It is the sameness of plots and escape routes for the innocent in most films that look like a cut-and-paste job.

Based on ‘The Next Three Days’ by Paul Haggis, the narrative has been Indianised and blended with the mythical tale of Savitri, who does everything possible to save her husband and bring him back from the clutches of Yamraj. Savi, in the film, also goes all out to save her husband.

Divya Khossla, by any stretch of imagination, is not an actress.

She tries hard to capture the mental and emotional turmoil of Savi, but manages to interpret to some extent only her physical and financial stress. Kapoor has a role that he tries initially to give a lot of gravitas to. In the few scenes at the outset, he looks mysterious and menacing. Gradually, though, he becomes what we have been watching him as — Munna.

Chinmay Salaskar’s photography captures some beautiful locales, and there are some hummable songs by Vishal Mishra, Javed-Mohsin, Piyush Shanker and Arkadeep Karmakar.

But a request to the producers: If you have the wherewithal to make a film with a decent storyline, why not cast actors who can act?

Film: Savi

Duration: 126 minutes

Director: Abhinay Deo

Cast: Divya Khosla, Anil Kapoor, Harshvardhan Rane

Cinematography: Chinmay Salaskar Music: Vishal Mishra, Javed-Mohsin, Piyush Shanker and Arkadeep Karmakar

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