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February 7, 2014

Movie review: Heartless


Cast: Adhyayan Suman, Ariyana Ayam, Deepti Naval, Shekhar Suman, Om Puri

Director: Shekhar Suman


Actor, comedian Shekhar Suman aims to resuscitate the comatosed acting career of his son Adhyayan Suman and also launch himself as a director in this rip-off of the 2007 Hollywood medical thriller Awake.

Suman senior takes the heart of the said Hollywood flick and transplants it into a Bollywoodized body, embellished with the songs, sappy sentimentality and blithe disregard to the details that’s more of a norm than an exception in our industry.

'Heartless' has Adhayayan Suman playing Aditya Singh, a superrich kid of a billionaire single mom (Deepti Naval). Life plays its cruel joke when he’s diagnosed with a fatal heart condition. His only hope is a heart transplant, but the young lad rather meet his maker than get a transplant because he harbours guilt for the accidental death of his father. Enters Riya (Ariana Ayam), a pretty girl working in a Dubai hotel. Aditya falls for her and wants to give his life a second chance. Great!

But instead of getting operated upon by the topnotch heart surgeon Dr. Trehan (Om Puri) -- who, by the way, harbours a soft corner for Aditya’s mom -- the young lad opts to go under the knife of a lesser known surgeon but a good friend Sam (Shekhar Suman).

All hell breaks loose in the operation theatre. Aditya goes through unimaginable pain, but in the process also discovers a conspiracy to fleece him.

While the first half of Heartless is more of an advert for Dubai tourism, what with all the romance and poorly composed songs playing out against the backdrop of some breathtaking visuals, it’s in the second half that the story comes to life, begins to throb and offer us a few twists to make sitting through the 110 minutes of this drivel worth a little while.

At the heart of the plot is a phenomenon called Anesthesia Awareness, where a patient retains his consciousness partly despite being administered an anesthetic. There’s also a lot of mother-son drama, as Deepti Naval doesn’t approve of his son’s romantic choice Riya, and he doesn’t approve of the surgeon of her choice. In the end, he realizes that mom, however domineering and stifling, is mostly right.

Adhyayan Suman tries too hard to come up with a performance that will fetch him a new start as an actor. The effort is admirable, its result isn’t. Ditto for Shekhar Suman who makes a hash of the plot with such laughable blunders as the transplanted heart being held out in hands by a character. If you happen to be a surgeon, Heartless could be a laugh riot.

The new girl Ariana Ayam is pretty but doesn’t have much screen presence. Shekhar Suman tries to play a much younger version of himself and even lets his grown up son Adhyayan call him ‘bro’ in the film.

The music isn’t anything to hum home about.

In a nutshell, Heartless is a botched remake of a Hollywood medical thriller. It’s badly written, poorly enacted, and amateurishly directed.

Stay away if you value your time and money.

Rating: **

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