Movie review: No drama in Ankur Arora Murder Case

Ravina Rawal

Jun 15, 2013 12:25:06 IST

Ankur Arora Murder Case. The title is an accurate description of what the movie is about. So don’t slam me for spoilers when I tell you that director Suhail Tatari and producer/writer Vikram Bhatt’s film is about eight-year-old Ankur Arora whose straightforward appendectomy turned fatal due to operating surgeon Dr Asthana's (played by Kay Kay Menon) negligence.

Based on a real life story, AAMC doesn’t cover the expanse of all that we have come to expect of medical dramas, thanks to TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, House, ER, Private Practice and (for some) even Scrubs. It is a small, single-focus story about Ankur’s mother's (Tisca Chopra) fight for justice after her son’s death, with a little help from the morally upright, idealistic medical intern, Romesh (Arjun Mathur).

My own fear of hospitals, malpractice, murder and negligence began with the last page of my first Robin Cook novel, back when I was 13.

 Movie review: No drama in Ankur Arora Murder Case

Ankur Arora Murder Case movie poster

I’ve been suspicious of doctors and hospitals and halogen-lit hallways ever since. Then came the world wide web, followed by medical TV shows. Recent studies have confirmed that hospitals around the world can’t get enough of that expanding species of paranoid, know-it-all, self-diagnosed patient.

I’m a great example of the above creature. Every other month, I have to deal with a rising suspicion that I may have lupus. I’m also pretty confident I’d be able to successfully intubate someone, should such an emergency ever occur. I owe this potentially impressive skill set of mine to and mentors like Gregory House.

Suddenly, I also feel a lot more empowered and in control while handling doctors, procedures and hospitals in general, especially since McDreamy taught me all I need to know about neurosurgery. You see, during the patient rounds in these teaching hospitals, I’m taking notes too. And I use these notes to help my doctor out when he looks confused and tries to distract me with a hastily scribbled prescription for Pudin Hara when HELLO, I clearly have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (shouldn’t someone be taking an ultrasound, and giving me a medal?).

But I digress. As a small little story, AAMC works for the most part. Despite solid, restrained performances by Menon, Mathur and Chopra, it isn't particularly effective. It’s got its heart in the right place and sets out to tell an important story, but it doesn’t reach out as much as it could have.

As a medical thriller, it’s not as generous with medical insights as even one episode of the highly dramatised, mostly unrealistic TV shows we watch. Nor do the thrills hit unexpectedly. AAMC’s effort is to expose the business of saving lives, and they stick to it. Between the OT and the courtroom, there was plenty of scope to explore the scary world of health politics—admitting patients who don't need it, delaying surgery for monetary gain, cover-ups, difficult ethical choices—but the film treats these issues superficially. As a result, while AAMC is definitely a step in an interesting direction, it leaves you wishing they'd watch a little more television before making a film like this.

Updated Date: Jun 15, 2013 13:01:05 IST