Tips Films and Mukesh Bhatt's FOOTPATH, directed
by Vikram Bhatt, falls in the same genre as
PARINDA, SATYA, VAASTAV and COMPANY, but it
lacks the hammer-strong impact of the earlier
FOOTPATH is the story of three friends -- Arjun
[Aftab Shivdasani], Raghu [Emraan Hashmi] and
Shekhar [Rahul Dev]. All three have been born
and brought up in Mumbai.
The happiness is shortlived when Arjun's father
is murdered. His friends avenge the father's
death, after which Arjun is forced to flee
Mumbai and take refuge in Delhi.
But the police succeed in tracing Arjun and
force him into a mission that is full of
betrayal against his childhood friends.
FOOTPATH bears a striking similarity to the
Mahesh Bhatt-directed ANGAARAY [Akshay,
Nagarjuna, Irfan Kamal], which itself was
inspired by the Hollywood flick ANGELS WITH
DIRTY FACES [1938; starring James Cagney,
Humphrey Bogart, Pat O'Brien].
Director Vikram Bhatt has opted for a genre that
may not be original, but it does have its share
of some well-penned and well-executed sequences.
Also, the filming and setting are all dark,
unlike the colourful world of Bollywood flicks.
But the film is not without its share of
failings. The killings and the cat-n-mouse game
between the law-breakers and the law-keepers
gets repetitive after a point, making you wonder
why the narrative couldn't have been more
Also, viewers who are not too well versed with
the functioning of the Mumbai underworld, may
not find this adventure captivating enough to
identify with. The terminology is very Mumbaiyya,
the ambience and overall setting is again so
Mumbai-centric that those in Bihar or Punjab or
Andhra may find it difficult to equate with.
The film starts off pretty well and the pace is
maintained right through the first half-an-hour,
but it runs out of steam the moment the heroes
start romancing the heroines.
From the script point of view, every time a good
scene ends, a song pops up without a valid
situation, which gives you an impression that
the writer [Mahesh Bhatt] and the makers wanted
to incorporate all possible ingredients to woo
Of course, the film has its share of some good
scenes [the bonding between Aftab and Emraan can
be singled out!], but they're far too less to
undo the harm done by the songs and the romantic
Director Vikram Bhatt has handled a few dramatic
scenes with ease, with the finale being the best
part of the enterprise. But he should've gone in
for an out-and-out realistic fare instead of
trying to strike a balance between realism and
formula-ridden clich?stuff. It would've only
benefited the project had it been a songless
Writer Mahesh Bhatt has come up with a
half-baked script. It drags in the second half
and offers nothing new to the viewer. Girish
Dhamija's dialogues are power-packed and also
the saving grace to an extent. Aftab's outburst
in the climax can easily be singled out.
Nadeem-Shravan's music is a sore point.
Practically all the tunes sound the same. Pravin
Bhatt's camerawork is flawless. Action scenes
are as usual.
Aftab Shivdasani does well in a role that is not
everyone's cup of tea. He is at his best towards
the latter part of the film. Rahul Dev is
Debutante Emraan Hashmi [he has been given the
same look as Vivek Oberoi in COMPANY!] carries
off the role without resorting to being loud. A
complete natural, given the right roles,
directors and films, the youngster can work
Bipasha Basu has nothing to do other than look
pretty. The only scene where she scores is the
one when she reveals to Aftab that she is
pregnant. Newcomer Aparna Tilak is quite good.
Irfan Khan is excellent in a cameo. Anupama
Verma and Arif Zakaria don't get much scope.
Anup Soni is first-rate.
On the whole, FOOTPATH is a routine fare that
may not find many takers. At the box-office, the
film will face an uphill task in the form of
strong oppositions and also due to lack of an
aggressive promotion, resulting in no buzz for