Marital Thriller


54d15c234deacd0bf88d13c335e1807a-2MUSAFIR. Director: Sanjay Gupta. Players: Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy, Mahesh Manjrekar. DVD (Spark).

For a domestic thriller that pivots off of a married couple trying to do each other in—wink, wink—Musafir is an eccentric breed apart. Bringing together Dutt and Kapoor for the first time, director Gupta chances upon the same elements with which he struck gold in 2002’s Kaante and finds that lightning indeed can strike twice.

Lucky (Kapoor), an unsuitably named down-and-out con artist, suddenly finds himself indebted to Billa (Dutt), a feared enforcer with vast underworld reach. In Goa, while making a delivery for Billa, Lucky has a run-in with Sam (Reddy), a sensual, beguiling married beauty with a secret passion. Lucky becomes attracted to Sam, only to learn that Sam is interested in doing away—literally—with her abusive husband Luka (Manjrekar). Thus ensues a charged cat-and-mouse game involving the husband, the wife, her lover and what may, or may not, be the husband’s sizable fortune.

Lucky and Billa square off intermittently (Are they enemies? Who is really pulling the strings?), adding tension to a plot in which everyone appears to have something to hide. Kapoor and Dutt (both fond of the black in their wardrobe) are at home in the motorcycle-induced leather gear whose dark tone starkly contrasts the white, light, gleaming scenes. Spark’s crisp DVD transfer is slickly packaged.

Held together by nifty camera moves and edgy performances by Kapoor and especially Reddy as the romantic leads, Musafir also gets a huge boost from the techno funk musical score that features both Vishal and Shekhar, and Anand Raaj Anand. Sunidhi Chauhan’s electrifying “Ishk mat kariyo” is a dazzling exercise in dance-floor anarchy. Musafir is a keeper.

Aniruddh Chawda writes from Wisconsin, on America’s north coast.

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