Ananth Narayan Mahadevan; The Xposé


Movie Review: The Xposé
Director: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan
Cast: Himesh Reshammiya, Sonali Raut, Zoya Afroz, Honey Singh, Irrfan, Adil Hussain and Ananth Narayan Mahadevan

Funniest film of the year. You’ll have a ball watching The Xposé (accidentally pronounced in the film as the verb expose and not the noun). It’s the most hilarious whodunit ever made. It’s also a period thriller, based in 1968, which features a night shot of the contemporary Mumbai skyline. It includes two directors making two epic masala movies called Reena Mera Naam and Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal. Reena… features a homage shot to Yeh Nazdeekiyan (1982) and Chanchal… has homage to Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978). A film based in 1968 has shots from actual movies that happened a decade later. And then they say this film is inspired by true events. Marty McFly would’ve been proud.

Himesh Reshammiya plays an actor Ravi Kumar, who hails from North India, but is a superstar down South. He has a penchant for gung-ho dialogue baazi. And he prefers to adlib swashbuckling lines during film shoots. He has an interesting back story too. He used to be a police inspector before he turned an actor (which is exactly how Raaj Kumar’s real-life story turned out). There on, Himesh’s character deviates into greyer shades. He shoots a Minister in the lock up and is thrown out of the force. After which he joins the movies but still retains his edgy disposition. The Xposé has many subliminal references to Hindi film legends. Writers Bunty Rathore, Jainesh Ejarder and Himesh Reshammiya have done a decent job digging up old stories. But then they’ve weaved it in a story that makes trashy Joginder movies seem like classics. 

Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan (who’s playing a key character in the film, who’s also a movie director) tries his level best to give this film noir treatment. So The Xposé has a definite visual style but no content. The absurdly demented climax belongs in a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not vault. 

This film has Himesh and Honey Singh. There’s no reason the music shouldn’t work. The tunes are catchy (some are a tad, too familiar), the lyrics seem fun, they’ve shot the songs in exotic locations and in the grandest of fashion. But they still don’t entertain, enough. The screenplay randomly veers to songs in the most unprofessional manner.

And then you have great consistency in bad acting. Himesh’s performance is marginally better than his previous attempts, but it’s still too wooden to be true. Talk about stiffness in front of the camera. Newbies Zoya Afroz and Sonali Raut are no better than pretty faces. And Ananth Mahadevan, Honey Singh, Jessy Randhawa and Rajesh Sharma show you the pitfalls of overacting. The only notable performance in the film comes from Adil Hussain, who outshines everyone, in a total screen presence of three minutes.

The Xposé has exposed a sad truth from our film industry. We have the ability to make really bad movies.


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