Cast: Arjun Mathur,Kay Kay Menon,Vishakha Singh,Tisca Chopra,Paoli Dam
Director: Suhail Tatari
The Indian Express rating: **
A little boy dies after a botched operation in a hospital thats run for profit. This may be something that happens all the time because doctors are humans,and humans are prone to error. But young Ankur Aroras death-by-negligence makes conscience-stricken young intern Dr Romesh (Mathur) throw all caution to the winds,and go after the brilliant Dr Asthana (Menon). Romesh is backed by the heart-broken mother (Chopra),a comely lawyer (Dam) who starts crooked but gets back to the straight and narrow,and,eventually,the girl he loves (Singh). So theres your classic David vs Goliath story in a hospital setting,beginning with the promise of relevance.
Which is belied soon after. The film intends to be part hospital procedural,part courtroom drama,with a dash of chase-and-hunt thriller,all very Robin Cook-ish. Kay Kay Menon plays the surgeon who is more interested in getting himself in media limelight and gathering money for the cash-rich hospital. The clash between an all-powerful doctor who has lost sight of his primary purpose of saving lives,and the intern who is willing to lose everything in the fight for justice should have made for cracking drama. But Ankur Arora Murder Case never really gets there,suffering from banal script-and story-telling,and amateurish acting.
Tataris previous debut film (Summer of 2007) also revolved around the medical profession and issues that arise from the urban privileged being criminally unaware of ground realities in rural India. Despite its clunky title,that film did better with detailing its core. Here too,the subject of medical negligence is of grave importance,and not dealt with any degree of seriousness by Bollywood. This one had the potential to go a different route. The Vikram Bhatt (hes the producer and the writer) effect strikes,and it becomes a thing of loud declamations and predictable outcomes.
Mathur is easy,and that makes it easier for us to sit through. But an actor of the calibre of Menon being made to shout mars it. And Chopra is ill-used: as the bereft mother,she could have brought more to the table,and left us with more empathy. Pity because this could have been a medico-legal thriller with teeth.