Jai has the power to see into the past. He uses this power to help people even though using it nearly kills him every time. When his father, Jatin, dies in a mysterious boating accident, Jai's suspicion is aroused by the appearance of an oddball detective, Happi. The only article that can help him in his investigation is an 8 X 10 photograph taken just minutes before the accident by his mother Savitri that shows Jatin surrounded by his best friend and lawyer, Anil, his adopted son, Adit and younger brother, Sundar. Jai decides to use this photograph to go into the past to unravel the mystery surrounding Jatin's death.
Directed by: Nagesh Kukunoor
. Starring: Akshay Kumar
, Ayesha Takia
, Javed Jaffrey
, Girish Karnad
, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan
, Benjamin Gilani
, John Sampson
, Rushad Rana
, Sharmila Tagore
, Uttara Baokar
, Pia Shah
, Wendy Lumby
, Andrea Tully
. Music by: Bohemia
, Salim Merchant
Nagesh Kukunoor, the director started off brilliantly a decade back and gave some exceptional movies like "Hyderabad Blues", "3 Deewarein", "Iqbal" and "Dor". But his last movie "Bombay To Bangkok" and the current "8X10 Tasveer" stand nowhere close to his own set standards. The same can be said about Akshay Kumar, who seems to be lost in the gigantic hype surrounding himself. After "Chandni Chowk to China" this will be the second setback to his otherwise hit record.
The movie is based on a supernatural theme where Akshay can travel into the past by gazing on a picture and its individual characters. The subject looks exciting enough as we read or write about it, but the execution on the screen is not convincing at all as it lacks all the thrills and edge of the seat treatment required by the plot. Nagesh seems to be interested in making an artistic thriller, with long boring scenes, uninspiring writing and lazy editing.
The story moves slowly with no worth mentioning scenes or sequences. Even the over publicized shot where Akshay jumps from a cliff into the water is amazingly canned but has no relevance at all with the narration or script. Akshay seems to be quite confused and doing his role without any conviction. There was also news of both director and actor facing tough times together shooting abroad. Sadly, that shows on the screen and also in Akshay's recent interviews given for the movie. The time gaps which occurred while making the movie may also be visible to the sharp enthusiastic bollywood fans. Interestingly the main picture in the movie, which has got all the focus gets easily caught as a reworked photograph with background pasted later.
In a suspense thriller, the climax holds the key to its success. The more interesting and shocking the last minute revelations are, more are the chances of movie hitting the bull's eye. Moreover in a murder mystery it is always better that the culprit should be from the characters known to the viewer. If a sudden new entrant is introduced to be the killer then it takes away all the shock value and results in an unimpressive climax. This is the problem with "8X10 Tasveer" where the finale is too lengthy and not powerful as expected.
Acting department has got Sharmila Tagore and Javed Jaffery at their best. Javed should have been given more comic freedom in his expressions by the director as that would have added a lot to the movie. Akshay is not in form as he is always. In many scenes it looks like he is deliberately stopping himself from doing a comedy act. Ayesha Takia looks cute but lacks the depth required for the role. Benjamin Gilani, Girish Karnad and Ananth Mahadevan are OK in their short roles. Cinematography is top rate, specially the chase and actions sequences. But its time our film makers should realize that usually songs are not meant to be there in thrillers and murder mysteries. All the songs are simply unwanted and not worth remembering also. On the other hand Background score is fine as per the demand of the subject.
Now about the Inspirational influences of the movie:
1. The camera view from the inside angle of an eye seems to be influenced from the movie "Being John Malkovich (1999)"
2. Akshay moving into the past and then people ready to bring him back with medical support is very close to the similar sequences in "Flatliners (1990)"
3. The movie poster with Akshay eyes staring in, has similarity to the poster of Anthony Hopkins brilliant movie "Instinct (1999)"
In the end I would only like to say that after watching "8X10 Tasveer", I came to one conclusion that, both the talented director, Nagesh and hugely successful actor, Akshay now urgently need to re-invent themselves once again.
Review by bobbysing from the Internet Movie Database.