“I was wondering if invisible men need to take showers?” asks actress Amayra Dastur coyly as the water cascades down her bare back. She gets a befitting response as Bollywood actor and notorious on-screen kisser Emraan Hashmi advances towards her amorously, takes her in his arms and kisses her. He’s invisible, so his outline is hazy and his mystical form just swirls around her — but that doesn’t seem to be much of a hindrance as she puckers up her face. It was intended to be a poignant scene of two lovers reuniting, but its inherent silliness made it ripe for parody.
Note to director Vikram Bhatt: Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore did similar scenes better in their 1990 tearjerker Ghost. So you shouldn’t have opened that door.
Mr X, a romantic thriller, opens with anti-terrorist experts Raghu (Hashmi) and Simi (Dastur) trying to thwart the attempts of a terrorist who has hijacked a bus filled with terrified passengers. Swiftly, they gun down the suicide-bomber and usher the hostages out of the bus. But a wounded man is left behind and the righteous Raghu puts his life at risk, despite knowing that the bomb will go off in less than a minute. Simi, his colleague and lover, tries to stop him, but he says his duty to save civilians comes first and that her love for him would help her in detonating the bomb.
Ideally, he should be shot in the head for such bizarre logic. But the bomb doesn’t kill him, as Simi miraculously pulls the right wires and de-activates the bomb. After that dramatic beginning, the film turns into a syrupy romance that underlines their crazy love for each other. However, Raghu gets embroiled in a nasty conspiracy where he’s forced to commit a crime at gun point. The villains — led by a scowling Arunoday Singh — don’t spare him as they orchestrate a chemical explosion in a refinery to kill him. Now, you need to suspend disbelief for the next thirty minutes because Raghu acquires the powers of invisibility through an untested drug administered by his close friend. His transition from a mortal with chemical burns is laden with special effects, but they are not particularly impressive.
Out of all the actors, it’s Hashmi who excels. Dastur looks absolutely fetching in her leather jackets and her lustrous hair, but her shrill voice when there’s some need for melodrama is grating. Singh, who towers over Hashmi, has mastered the art of scowling. So between her shrill voice and Singh’s scowling, there’s little to be enjoyed.
While it’s not easy to pull in viewers with a storyline that involves an invisible man, Hashmi doesn’t get much support from anyone. Just like his struggle to bring down evil men, he’s alone in his fight to make Mr X a watchable film. Go for this if you are a Hashmi fan. All others can give this one a miss.
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Amayra Dastur and Arunoday Singh
Stars: 2 out of 5