Shekhar Suman’s directorial debut Heartless is inspired by the Hollywood medical thriller Awake. The film, nicely adapted and understated (except for the misplaced title track) deals with the disturbingly real phenomenon of anesthetic awareness in which surgery patients, though paralyzed are conscious of everything they are experiencing including pain. It’s an absorbing thriller. And one doffs one’s hat to Shekhar for handling this difficult subject with such finesse.
The protagonist Aditya (Adhyayan Suman) is molly-coddled and stifled by his rich mother Gayatri (Deepti Naval). He also has a life-threatening heart ailment and needs a transplant. His mother’s silent admirer Dr Trehaan (Om Puri) is the ideal choice of medic. However, Adi seeks out his friend, a lesser known surgeon Sameer (Shekhar Suman) and entrusts him with his life.
Richie Rich also finds himself drawn to Ria (Ariana Ayam), a receptionist at a Dubai hotel. Their love blossoms after two songs and a tour of Dubai. She follows him to Mumbai and despite his mother’s disapproval, the billionaire remains enchanted by Ria.
Though lavishly mounted, the first half is routine with emphasis on the rich-boy-meets-poor-girl angle. Post intermission, the real plot is unravelled. Though the twists in the tale rest largely on a dry medical fact, the film becomes a thrilling roller-coaster ride with terrific punches. The mother-son relationship is emotionally gratifying. In a lighter vein, it’s Adhyayan’s turn to borrow a line out of Yash Chopra’s Deewar and preen like Shashi Kapoor did, saying, “Mere paas maa hai.”
For someone so young and inexperienced, Adhyayan turns in a faultless performance. Ariana passes muster. Of the songs, Arijit’s rendition of main dhoondne ko zamaane mein that plays with the end credits has that haunting quality.
A billionaire with a rare heart disease goes in for an organ transplant. Little does he know that during the course of his surgery, he will be privy to something unsavoury.
The Times of India