Karam (2005)

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Music-video maverick and cinematographer Sanjay F. Gupta does wallop a punch or two in the solar plexus with his unusually violent, skilfully narrated story of an assassin’s brutal efforts to come clean. The movie is violent, with double crossing, blood sheds and murders.

It’s a neat story, written with panache and passion by the talented Suparn Varma who last week, succeeded in creating a freshness in the romantic comedy genre with “Socha Na Tha”.

Tautly scripted and anointed with a virile candour that slices open the wounded lives of the two protagonists, “Karam” has great visual strength. Gupta uses images, music and colours from music videos to accentuate the anxious desolation of the couple, struggling to come together in a world ripped apart by violence.

The violence undercutting the main love story is intolerably harsh. Scenes of villains smashing heads and pumping bullets into unsuspecting victims cut across the narrative creating an unsettling pyramid of passion and perversion. The life-changing shoot-out in which John and his accomplices (Murali Sharma and Rajesh Khera) accidentally gun down a little girl shimmers and seethes in the lurking shadows of discontent.

Throughout, the director creates a sense of self-destructive foreboding, punctuated by unexpected passages of tenderness.

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