Jai (Akshay Kumar
) is an NRI (nonresident Indian) who works as a forest ranger in Canada. He has a live-in girlfriend, and is estranged from his father, an oil company executive, because he believes that his dad's business harms the environment. The girlfriend does not know that he has a secret power, a form of psychometry
: if he focuses on a person in a photo, he can experience their memories of the minutes before and after the taking of the photo. This is physically exhausting for him at best, and life-threatening at worst, but he occasionally uses it to finds missing persons lost in the wilderness. Things get complicated when Jai's dad has a photo taken of himself and his three best friends, then almost immediately dies of a heart attack after falling off his yacht into cold water. An eccentric detective shows up, insisting that the death was murder. Jai is skeptical at first, but finds himself, his girlfriend, and his mother (Sharmila Tagore
) drawn into a web of mystery and deceit, with the story of his father's death growing more complicated every time he digs into it with his psychic powers.
8x10 Tasveer ("8x10 Picture") suffered from a Troubled Production
and an unsuccessful theatrical release, but it is a fairly good, if slow-moving, thriller that ditches the standard Bollywood dance numbers and Large Ham
acting for a brooding atmosphere, understated performances, and a whole lot of plot twists. It can be legally viewed for free, with subtitles, on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d5qmFjFnD0&list=PL359C9BF20C59F5BD&index=50&feature=plpp_video
Warning: the trope list contains a bunch of spoilers.
8 x 10 Tasveer contains examples of:
- Angsty Surviving Twin: one of the major characters ends up like this.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Jai despises his dad's involvement with the oil business. another character turns out to be MUCH more antagonistic towards his parents
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing / Manipulative Bitch: one of the three supporting female characters is this.
- Cain and Abel / The Resenter: the ultimate motivation for the crime.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: one character's fate.
- Evil Twin / Long-Lost Relative: the real mastermind behind Jai's father's death.
- Faking the Dead: one interpretation of what happens the last time Jai uses his powers.
- Heel-Face Turn: Jai attempts to get the villain to do this at the climax.
- Heroic RROD: Jai suffers this the last three times he uses the photo of his dad
- Hollywood Healing: the film is more careful than some other Bollywood films about things like adrenaline shots and defibrillators, but the implication that Jai needs blood transfusions after his psychic episodes is kind of silly.
- Lampshade Hanging: when Jai and his girlfriend start snooping around another character's house, the girlfriend complains that this is the kind of situation where you find dead bodies in the movies. In another scene, after his Power Strain Blackout episodes have led to him being given blood transfusions, she tells him that she will believe any explanation he gives her..."even if you say Dracula is sucking your blood."
- Left for Dead: Happens to Jai at least once. Is also part of the villain's backstory.
- Nature Hero: Jai, given his athleticism, psychic abilities and environmental concerns.
- Perky Female Minion / The Starscream: the villain's girlfriend has elements of these tropes.
- Power Strain Blackout: what happens to Jai the first two times he uses the photo of his father.
- Raised by Orcs: backstory for the Long-Lost Relative.
- "Rashomon"-Style: Jai uses the photo of his dad and dad's friends to experience the events on the yacht from different points of view.
- Redemption Equals Death: the villain's fate.
- Superpower Lottery: In addition to his psychometric powers, Jai can hold his breath for improbably long periods under water, is a fitness freak who knows parkour, and seems to have a nearly photographic memory.
- The Cast Showoff: Akshay Kumar really loves Le Parkour, and does vaguely parkour-inspired moves in several situations where it doesn't really work with the plot.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: the last three or so plot twists all have elements of this.
- The Ending Changes Everything: the last two plot twists will give you a very different perspective on what has gone before.
- Theme Twin Naming: Jai, meaning "Victory," and his allegedly dead twin Jeet, meaning "Conqueror."
- Thicker Than Water: this motivates the dad's decision to turn his fortune over to the environmental organization that Jai works for. Also motivates the villain's last minute Heel-Face Turn.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: the entire plot is tailored to force Jai to make full use of his marginally useful, highly dangerous psychic ability.
- Troubled Production: The film's Canadian and Indian co-producers feuded over rights and financing issues, which delayed the filming and essentially wasted a forty-day time slot that Akshay Kumar, a time management fanatic who can shoot five movies in the time most Bollywood stars would do one or two, had allocated for filming. Due to this and his rising popularity in India at the time, he retaliated by raising his fees, which only added to the mess.
- Twin Switch: the villain is preparing to do this towards the end of the movie.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Jai's psychic powers are extremely...specialized. He can't find out anything useful unless the photo was taken very close in time to the victim's death/disappearance, and the toll these psychic episodes take on him is implied to be severe.