Dir. Raj Kumar Gupta
A mediocre thriller marred by even more contrived than average devices that generate lukewarm suspense at best, Aamir flirts unsatisfyingly with questions about such grand themes as destiny, martyrdom, and whether terrorism can ever be justified.
Aamir Ali (Rajeev Khandelwal) returns to Mumbai after a time practicing medicine abroad. He finds his family kidnapped by a mysterious man (Ghajraj Rao) who contacts him by phone. The man sends him on missions across the city, and it quickly becomes clear to the terrified Aamir that the man is a Muslim extremist, and a terrorist - and that if Aamir doesn't do the man's bidding, his family will pay the price.
Despite being short - it clocks in at less than 95 minutes - Aamir is not a terribly taut movie. The series of tasks that the mysterious man sets for Aamir feels like a video game quest - find this restaurant; wait for a phone call; pick up some dried fruit; visit this address; get a code; deliver the code to another address; pick up a suitcase; deliver the suitcase to yet another address. These are silly, convoluted machinations full of unnecessary diversionary tactics. They are contrived to add tension and suspense, but result chiefly in lengthy sequences in which Aamir wanders around Mumbai looking morose.
If Aamir has a redeeming feature, it is effective cinematography, and a camera that explores the grittiest alleys of Mumbai - ragged markets, fleabitten hotels, and fascinatingly filthy industrial quarters. Aamir himself, the prodigal son, is obviously out of place here, with his expensive suit and French cuffs. This is the mysterious man's point; the man mocks him for being repulsed by the way "his own people" (meaning Muslims) live in squalor in the city's darkest corners. The man's reason for selecting Aamir seems to be to convince him that his duty lies with the "holy war" against the established order. But the conspiracy to ensnare Aamir makes little sense - is a tremendous amount of overhead and risk to incur, just to convert this one guy to the cause. The ultimate task set for Aamir could have been achieved much more simply by any member of the mysterious man's cohort. It's true that watching movies often requires some suspension of disbelief, some willingness to accept a contrived plot in service of the story's aim. But suspension of disbelief requires some quid pro quo. Aamir fails to deliver on its half of that bargain.