Jeet, whose box-office ratings have taken a nose-dive over the past few years seems to ‘come back’ every year with a new film but does not really come back. Ravi Kinagi has banked on a script that promises to make Jeet-ditchers sit up and take notice. Wanted presents him in a character he has never played before.
Jeet plays a cool, calculating and diabolic contract killer whose speech is confined to monosyllables and whose skills as a professional killer are stunningly established sans dialogue within the first few minutes. He plays a man wanted by the police for having killed the opposition leader during a pre-election meeting. He is wanted by the victim’s son because he was supposed to have fired at the leader not to kill but to injure enough to attract sympathy votes.
With the police hot on his chase, he gets into a moving train and unwittingly becomes the direct cause of the death of fellow-passenger Shibu returning home after 12 years. Shibu’s family takes him to be the long-lost Shibu. This includes Pooja (Srabonti) betrothed to Shibu.
The love the killer gets from the family draws emotions from within he never knew existed. He cannot reveal his identity. Nor can he get the chasing police off his back. What happens in the end would be giving the game away.
We get to know the killer’s real name more than halfway after the film is over. A good touch that. Wanted is full of dynamic action, electrically charged suspense and wonderful dramatics till Raja steps into Shibu’s rich grandfather’s mansion. It is one of those ‘K’-serial families that brings the film crashing down the roller coaster ride.
The soppy, syrupy sentimentality punched with a would-be marriage, a land-sale deal that ‘Shibu’ stops, the cold cash landing on the priest’s compound for his daughter’s heart surgery, is straight out of a mega-soap. The two songs shot in Bangkok are a let-down. The dilly-dallying scenes between Raja and Pooja however, are a happy blend of restraint and naughtiness. Rajesh Roy’s music is good but the background score is sometimes so loud that it drowns the dialogue.
Jeet outshines everyone else. He speaks little. He lets his silence, his looks, fists fights and body do the talking. Jeet is in control of the changing scenario till the minute he succumbs to the persuasive tactics of the lovelorn Pooja. Kinagi forgets that no mercenary killer can rest in peace or sing songs or dance when he knows that he is a killer on the run.
Sharad Kapoor as the lecherous CBI officer Selim Ali is good but he delivers his Bengali lines in a long drawl that is affected and forced. Indrajeet as Raja’s ally Joy is very good in a brief cameo. The disgustingly precocious Aritra Dutta Banik should stop acting and go back to school. Mercifully, Biplab as the diabolic opposition leader keeps his grimaces to a minimum. Srabonti as Pooja has a purely decorative role that demands little talent and more beauty, costumes and jewellery.
Wanted impresses with style, colour, razzmatazz and silence, yet sadly spoils the build-up with syrupy ‘family’ melodrama.
Critic: Shoma A Chatterji