Film review: Bollywood ‘thriller’ Fever is one you will want to forget

Both the actors and the audience don't stand a chance against the terrible plot-twists and toe-curling dialogue.

Rajeev Khandelwal in Fever.
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Fever

Director: Rajeev Jhaveri

Starring: Rajeev Khandelwal, Gauhar Khan, Caterina Murino, Gemma Atkinson

One star

Fever calls itself a thriller, but there is nothing remotely thrilling about this movie.

The only real mystery is how Rajeev Khandelwal, an actor who has been known to favour sensible and interesting scripts, could have been convinced to star in this cliché-ridden celebration of absurdity.

Even the kindest viewer would be hard-pressed to find a single good thing to say about the film. Perhaps, if pressed, a case could be made for praising Khandelwal’s earnestness – but he never really stands a chance against the silly dialogue and haphazard, cobbled-together plot twists.

Armin (Khandelwal) wakes up in a hospital after a car accident with no memory of his past except a vague recollection of a woman called Rhea and that he is from Paris.

As he attempts to piece together his past, alone and friendless, he meets Kavya (Gauhar Khan), who is weirdly invested in helping him remember – and, of course, quickly falls in love with him. Her motivation is revealed eventually, but comes as no great surprise.

The plot trudges along – accompanied by dreadful dialogue such: as “What can I get you?” “My identity”, and a score that will make you want to cover your ears – we learn that Armin is a contract killer.

This piece of information is drummed into the heads of weary viewers so many times throughout the movie, it makes you wonder what kind of noxious fumes writer-director Rajeev Jhaveri was inhaling.

Possibly inspired by the presence of Bond girl Caterina Murino, Khandelwal attempts to pull off a low-budget Bond act – but fails for the most part.

Both Murino and British TV actress Gemma Atkinson are lumbered with insipid bit-part roles and fail to make any impression – which might be a good thing for their future careers.

Khan is awkward and the best that can be said about Khandelwal is that he tried.

Anything you do with your free time is going to be better than watching Fever – so do yourself a favour and forget all about it.

artslife@thenational.ae