A Few Good Men and Kay Kay
Shaurya (means valor), Samar Khan’s remake of the Broadway play A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin which later adapted for screen by the same title starring Tom Cruise and Demi Moore but is better remembered for histrionics shown in the climatic showdown by Jack Nicholson. I think this film is better than A Few Good Men and in here Kay Kay leaves the screen blazing with his powerhouse performance as power drunk army legend cum tyrant.
Movie is a court marshal courtroom drama. In the terror sensitive area one night a search mission a high ranked officer is shot point blank in face by its very own fellow troop officer Javed Khan (Vikram Dobrayal, a talent later tapped by Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Bhardwaj) for the motive unknown till a cavalier lawyer finds the reasons behind the shooting as well himself in the course of the movie. Lawyer is Siddhant (Rahul Bose with usual conviction) an army lawyer who spends his time off the court in adventure sports like bungee-jumping or late night partying, a staple of young generation refuting to take on responsibilities. In a way Shaurya is his coming-of-the-age story as well. With some quick developments he is soon embroiled in the same case he is least eager to take on. Clueless is what and mocked by local journalist (Minisha Lamba) and many others his own friend played unevenly by Javed Jaffery he slowly makes his way to path of self discovery.
There is a timely scene where foolhardy Sid is quite for the first time in the movie introspecting in army mess, joined by journalist who orders a chilled beer and cracks, “It doesn’t fit in small town morality, right?” He describes an incident from his childhood to her when he accompanied his dad on rock climbing and narrowly escaped death in a blind valley. While dangling with the help of branch or something he says when he saw down at that never ending valley suddenly it was peaceful, he felt strong. Then coming back to present sighs, “Aaj vo saali khaai kahin nazar nahi aa rahi..”(Damn! that valley is no where in sight)
Digging secrets and investigating the case leads to call Rudra Pratap Singh to the witness box but of course. He is a legend someone says in the movie you just don’t call him. He is played by Kay Kay with the blend of narcissism and aristocratic swagger simply blows your mind. There are specifically two scenes when he is called for trial which stands out and highly explosive. One is set outside the court where he invites Siddhant for a drink beside a bonfire to shake him up. He mocks his mild reaction (“Nice”) to the how Single Malt tastes and therefore entire younger generation which is nothing but about convenience, fast food, consumerism and their absolute inability to feel what a purist like him and his clan can. “Duniya me do hi anubhav shudha hai major, ek Shaurya aur dusara Single Malt”, he says. Kay Kay never underplays it. Second the big revelation finale in the court with ideology going ashtray and communal hatred flowing in their so called pureblood. These are extremely well written and brilliantly acted scenes.
And yes, film does suffer from a bit of bad editing (some unnecessary scenes, songs pops out of nowhere etc.), obligatory romance between lead pair and the issue it is tackling though executed well I felt director took an easy way out. Despite few reservations movie is worth recommending. It has some good writing and excels in the scenes with Kay Kay. In the end, film has its heart and this is a film cares about its characters and makes us care about them. Why don’t filmmakers legally buy the copyrights and call it a remake or mention its sources? It would have been more honorable.
* Bad **Average *** Good ****Very Good ***** Outstanding