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The Title Says It All

Saturday, May 04, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

Blank
Director:
Behzad Khambata
Cast: Sunny Deol, Karan Kapadia,Ishita Dutta, Karanvir Sharma and others
Rating: * *

Blank seems to have been made just to give a break to Karan Kapadia, who is the son of Simple and nephew of Dimple Kapadia (which is why son-in-law Akshay Kumar turns up to do a dance number). In an industry that goes by looks, he does not have the appearance of a romantic hero, so a thriller is designed for him, in which he can play a bearded, brooding angry man with a bomb strapped to his chest.

The newbie who resembles, and even sounds like, a younger Suniel Shetty, is pitted against an ill-tempered ATS chief, Dewan (Sunny Deol), whose troubles include a junkie son (a needless subplot). When Hanif (Kapadia), a victim of a road accident is brought to the hospital, the doctors find the bomb, which is ostensibly linked to his heart—if it is removed or if he dies, it goes off, and with it, 24 more connected bombs blast in the city. To make things worse, Hanif has lost his memory, and in spite of being slapped around by Dewan, he cannot give him any information about how the bomb ended up on his body.

It is a ridiculous premise, that sends teams of bomb disposal experts and ATS officers (Karanvir Sharma and Ishita Dutta) on a race against time to prevent impending disaster.

The boss of the terror outfit Tehreer-e-Hind or some such, is Maqsud (Jameel Khan), the land grabber turned long-bearded, Urdu-spouting mulla, who teaches kids to fight for their faith, in return for an after-life where toffees grow in trees (seriously!!)

The budget obviously did not extend to glossy production values, so the locations are grungy city hovels and markets, where the ATS teams run around, looking solemn and business like. In spite of its relatively short running time of, and a few twists sprinkled along the way, Blank seems overlong and just short of totally boring.  Two thoughts come to mind while watching the mayhem on screen—one that our cops need better fighting skills if one concussed guy can thrash several of them, and two, does the ATS recruit personnel without background checks?

Sunny Deol wears a scowl throughout; as for Karan Kapadia, it is going to take a while for him to live down the unfortunate title of his debut film.

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