Tag Archive: review


Sohini Dey

Film: Fast And Furious 5
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster
Rating: Average

Fast And Furious 5, the fifth film in the series is a no holds barred action entertainment, full of every masala from hot girls, hotter cars, goofy humour, elaborate chase sequences and ricochetting bullets to camaraderie and family bonding, all in the right proportion.  The lack of an engrossing plot has been compensated by spectacular visuals of car chases and crashes in this Justin Lin directed film which sees a re-union of all the stars from previous films in the same series. After Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is rescued from police custody by his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and her ex-FBI agent lover Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), they decide to plunder the corrupt businessman Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) whose path they have crossed. To pull off a $100 million heist, they round up a team of sleek and stylish criminals who, in between chalking out the plan and rehearsing it keep the quotient of entertainment high by prattling enthusiastically. Obstacles to the task are two. For one, Reyes has locked his wealth up in a safe in the police station and secondly, DSS special agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who is equivalent to an entire police force, is after Dom and his gang.
The stunts performed are entertaining no doubt, with some heart-in-your-mouth moments, but seem too convenient to be plausible. Take for instance the final chase scene where Dom’s and Brian’s cars drag the humongous safe along crowded roads manoeuvring the safe itself to smash enemy cars into smithereens. But you know it’s an action film and you know how it will end, so after a point of time you stop worrying about the truth value of whatever’s shown on the giant silver screen. Somehow you don’t even mind the predictability of it all and lie back and enjoy.
Everybody plays their parts well. Malleability is not a trait Diesel’s face is famous for, but in a film that requires him to display only three emotions at the most, and a lot of his rippling muscles, he is perfect. The same holds for Dwayne Johnson. But the physical and behavioural similarities between the two in the form of a chiseled body, shiny bald pate and steely determination make the chaser and the chased two sides of the same coin.
Apart from the unexplained bit about Vince’s betrayal and return, there are a couple of questions the film raises — Is the huskiness of a mafia lord like corrupt businessman’s voice an acquired trait or a pre-requisite for the role? Is the impending birth of a child in the family the only incident that can swerve criminals by choice off the path of crime?

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Jaya Biswas

 
Film: Thank You
Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Suniel Shetty, Irrfan Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Celina Jaitley, Rimi Sen
Rating: Average

Men hate him, women simply adore him. Anees Bazmee’s latest film, Thank You, sees Akshay Kumar playing a detective who specialises in extra-marital relationships. Akki tells heartbroken wives about their promiscuous husbands, enlightens them with signs of a cheating man and how to catch him red-handed. He educates women and makes them wiser. Well, now you know why!
The basic premise of the plot dwells on ‘Men are dogs’ and ‘Women are dumb’ philosophies. Raj (Bobby Deol), Vikram (Irrfan Khan) and Yogi (Suniel Shetty) are three married men trying to have some fun outside their marriage. Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor), Karthika (Rimi Sen) and Radha (Celina Jaitley) play their lovely wives.
All seems to go well until Sanjana senses something fishy about her hubby’s smooth-going life. On Karthika and Radha’s suggestions, Sanjana hires the perpetually flute-playing private detective Kishan (Akshay Kumar), who promises to teach the three philandering husbands a lesson that they’ll never forget. Sounds familiar? Thank You, sadly, comes across as a not-so-appealing concoction of erstwhile releases like Shaadi No. 1, Biwi No. 1, Masti et al. But most prominently, it is hugely inspired by Bazmee’s own film, No Entry.
While nothing significant happens in the first half, the storyline gets slightly better post interval. But just when you feel the end credits are about to roll, it starts stretching like a chewing gum with Raj’s ‘realisation’ phase in focus. That’s not all. It’s followed by an unnecessary and predictable flashback of Akshay and his wife played by Vidya Balan.
Pritam’s music is uninspiring except for Mika’s Pyaar do Pyaar lo number (from Jaanbaaz-1986), which is already climbing the music charts. The song sounds more like a remix and looks very much like trying a re-do of Apni To Jaise Taise from Housefull.
Akshay delivers an average performance; he does nothing that we haven’t seen him do before. One wonders if Akki doesn’t get tired of playing clichéd roles. Irrfan Khan is simply brilliant with his superb comic timing. Suniel Shetty’s character seems an extension of Hera Pheri. Bobby Deol is decent. As far as the leading women are concerned, Rimi Sen is good but not very different from what she did in Dhoom, Sonam Kapoor looks the prettiest of all. But that’s about it. As far as performance is concerned, this is certainly not one of her best performances. Celina Jaitley doesn’t really stand a chance as she remains absent most of the time. Mallika Sherawat with her item number fails to tickle you.
Annes Bazmee should perhaps say “I’m sorry” for directing Thank You. Watch it for Irrfan, if you must.

Sayandeb Chowdhury

 

 

Film: 7 Khoon Maaf
Director: Vishal Bhradwaj
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Naseruddin Shah, Irrfan Khan, Anu Kapoor, Usha Uthup, Aleksandr Dyachenko, Ruskin Bond, Vivaan Shah and Konkona
Rating: Excellent

Vishal Bhardwaj made Maqbool. And that was it. A new school of cinema was born in Bombay. Cinema that was tough, unrelenting, atmospheric, harsh and full of power. In case of Maqbool, and its successor Omkara, the author was none other than William Shakespeare (Macbeth, Othello). By the time he reached Kaminey, Bhardwaj had already acquired a kind of an unsparing vision of a life and its assorted idiosyncrasies that he had harnessed to remarkable effect. Kaminey, the gangster movie about Mumbai underworld and the horse racing mafia was but cool. In 7 Khoon Maaf, Bhardwaj manages to pull his aces together to create what is perhaps most Shakespearean of his films. In what is a virtuoso adaptation of Ruskin Bond short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands, Bhardwaj shows how he has internalised the Shakespearean eye for the imminent and the immanent, to what beauty he can build an atmosphere of genuine suspense even in the everyday, how premonition and clairvoyance resides in ordinary acts of human kindness and insight. And most importantly how behind chilling acts of crime are often the most tragic and lonely of human beings who are otherwise pilgrims of love.
Priyanka Chopra in what is an author backed role plays Susanna to almost perfect effect, falling for love every time when actually there was none. She lives and breathes her role as a love-seeking, vulnerable woman, who gets accosted by and seduced by six brazen men, who turn out to be different from who they were supposed to be. Her vulnerability is however her biggest weapon in her troubled life and as she grows old, she learns to use them more effectively than ever before. And like any woman who has passed not once but six times, alone, through the territory of impertinent men, she learns to use the craft of her sexuality too, even as her bones and skin turn thicker and thicker under her beauteous, if wrinkled skin. 
The story moves fast and uncontrollably towards its denouement, which is nothing short of revelatory. On the way, Priyanka changes her religion twice, visits Kashmir and Pondicherry, get’s married to a Russian attaché and a Bengali doctor apart from a Rajput rockstar, a Goanese General with one leg and a UP police inspector. Her milieu changes from the brazenly feudal world of the landed military, to that of an Urdu poet with special affection for sadomasochism, from the heroin-induced world of skirted rock singers of early eighties Goa to that of naturopathy of a bankrupt doctor. Her only witness and confidante is the narrator, Arun, who remains the distant young lover and the only normative influence in her mad life, perhaps the only one who could have survived her audacious search for love in a battered human landscape that includes her husband and her band of murdering minsters.
The film’s premise and period moves from the swinging ‘70s to 26/11 and beyond and the details are brought out with total attention and care. Ranjan Palit’s superlative, atmospheric photography is the highpoint of the film, apart from, of course, Bhardwaj’s superb ear for music which includes a rock ballad, a sufi lovenote and of course the Russian folk inspired Darrling, which remains the film’s chartbusting number. 
7 Khoon Maaf is vintage Vishal Bhardwaj, sensible, sensitive, powerful and sparsely illuminating of the darkness that we all carry inside.

Ranveer-Anushka’s day out!

Siddharth Kak of Surabhi Foundation hosted the Dhamaka Art & Craft Festival at Urban Haat, Belapur recently. We spotted Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh (of Band Baaja Baarat fame) at the event trying a hand at pottery with child prodigy Priyanshu. The event reminded Ranveer of his school days when, while making a clay pot, Ranveer had fallen asleep. When he woke up, his teacher told him, that his pot was the best. Geeta Kak and Pamela Chopra the trustees of Surabhi Foundation were also present at the venue. For Anushka Sharma this was a completely new experience and she enjoyed every bit of it. It was altogether an evening to remember.

 

 

Diganta Guha

 

 
Film: No One Killed Jessica
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan, Myra Karn, Rajesh Sharma
Rating: Average
 
No One Killed Jessica being the first big release of the year, with Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan in the lead, the anticipation level was sky high. The film is based on the real-life incident when model cum bartender Jessica Lall (Myra) was shot dead by Manu Sharma, son of a high-profile Haryana politician. The film narrates the story of Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lall (Vidya), her fight for justice and the nation’s fury at the blatant use of money, muscle power and political influence to manipulate the investigation.
The problem with films inspired by real-life incidents is that viewers always end up comparing them with what really happened. And there lies the challenge for a director. Sadly, Gupta fails to dramatise the incident in a way that intrigues the audience.
Considering it’s a sensitive plot, the film ought to have won your sympathy, if not move you to tears. Director Raj Kumar Gupta actually explores the flaw in our legal and political systems. They say, justice delayed is justice denied, and Gupta through his film underscores it perfectly well.
Gupta, who has made a film like Aamir, had a perfect subject to make a hard-hitting film. But No One Killed Jessica lacks punch. An incident that rocked the nation could have been
portrayed in a much more aggressive manner.
The first half is rather slow; especially the way Sabrina Lall tries to get justice for her sister has not been highlighted appropriately. Vidya’s subdued act doesn’t portray the ‘firebrand’ woman the audience was expecting to see in Sabrina. Agreed, a director is allowed a few cinematic liberties, like tweaking the script or adding or substracting a few characters, but, he is not expected to change the plot in a real-life adaptation. That’s where the film falters. The film sees Rani doing what Sabrina should have been doing.
One positive aspect of the film is the performance. If the first half belongs to Vidya who excels with her subtle act, the second half is Rani’s. As an aggressive journalist, Rani delivers one of the most power-packed performances of her career. But the way Vidya reacts to Rani’s aggression is worth a mention. She doesn’t try to score over Rani, but plays second fiddle to perfection. Some of the sequences involving the two ladies are indeed worth remembering.
The script is inconsistent. A right balance between fiction and facts would have had a better impact. Gupta takes the liberty of including choicest of cuss words including the ‘four letter word’ quite often but that doesn’t add value to the story.
To conclude, No One Killed Jessica is worth a watch but it certainly could have been better.

 

 

Diganta Guha

 
Veteran playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy was in town recently to perform at a concert organised by the Saradha Group of Companies. Excerpts:

There is no dearth of item songs now in Bollywood, but you are the pioneer of such numbers…
I wouldn’t call myself a pioneer. Yes I did sing songs like Hawaa hawaai, Jumma Chumma and Tu cheez badi hai mast mast. I believe those songs had better lyrics. Today’s songs just come and go, at least I can’t recall the lyrics and the antaras. 

How do you see the playback scenario these days?
Well, it’s always important for a singer to walk with time. I am not the type that says, “Oh! The old songs of my generation were far better.” You have to accept what we have today. But I do concede that there has been deterioration in terms of lyrics. We have grown up listening to Majrooh Sultanpuri and many other fabulous writers. Now we have just Gulzar Saab and Javed Akhtar. There is too much orchestra used nowadays. 

You have sung a number of Bengali songs. You should be happy to know that songs of Bengali films are again becoming popular.
That’s very encouraging. The songs are much better and more meaningful. I recently sang for a Rabindrasangeet album called Bhalobashi. It’s doing well and I have plans to sing a lot more in Bengali. 

What keeps you busy nowadays?
I am doing a lot of projects that are ‘non-filmi’. The film offers I get are all inconsequential songs. There are lots of new music directors and lyricists who have come up, but their offers are not interesting enough. But music is an integral part of my life and I am keeping that alive by singing in concerts and  for projects like spiritual albums. 

I know it’s tough, but if you are to list three of your favourite numbers, which ones would those be?
My selection doesn’t depend on the song’s popularity. It has something to do with my sentiment. There are certain songs that changed my career graph and I am very sensitive towards them. I like       Hawaa hawaai, the songs of 1942 A Love Story and of course the numbers in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I would rate the songs of HDDCS as really special because they were so different and there was so much of variety in them.  
 
Who are your favourite singers from the current crop?
They are all good individually. I like Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal and KK.

What is it like to perform in Kolkata?
It’s always a wonderful experience because there is a strong culture of music here. Kolkata genuinely loves good music. It is always heartwarming to perform here.

Jaya Biswas

Film: Tees Maar Khan
Director: Farah Khan
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Akshaye Khanna, Ali Asgar, Apara Mehta, Aman Verma, Murli Sharma, Sachin Khedekar
Rating: Poor

As the title suggests, the film is about the sharpest conman of all Tabrez Mirza Khan alias Khanon mein Khan’ Tees Maar Khan (Akshay Kumar). Here Akshay is a master criminal who learns to steal even before he is born, the foetus fed on crime thrillers his pregnant mother watched.
What begins as a regular comedy gradually becomes the story of the great Indian train robbery undertaken by Tees Maar Khan for the conjoined conmen, played by MTV’s twin baldies, Raghu and Rajiv. They assign Khan to retrieve their loot which the government has seized. Khan pretends to shoot a patriotic train robbery film, Bharat Ka Khazana, while managing the act for real. He also picks a village and casts its inhabitants to act in his film; bluffs them into participating in a crime.
And in all this, Tees Maar Khan deceives the audience by claiming to be a funny movie. If you’ve seen the promos, you know the brand of humour (or the lack of it). And when it comes to the business of conning, it’s only talk and no shock! Though the first half is bearable, the second half becomes Tashan — Part 2, if you know what I mean.
The film’s story, put together by Farah’s husband Shirish Kunder, is a complete mess. But you can’t blame him either. After all, he had to take care of background score, screenplay, story, editing to refreshments on the sets and God knows what else, evident from the credits.
The dialogues written by Shirish Kunder and Ashmith Kunder desperately try to be humorous but fall flat at most instances. Sample this: Tube se nikli huyi toothpaste aur Tees Maar Khan ki di huyi zubaan kabhi wapas nahin jaati or Mere nange haath tumhare nange gaal par — you don’t expect such scary lines in a Farah Khan film.
There is a lot of screaming, grimacing and heaving. Here is an example of the level of the jokes — Khan as Hollywood director calls himself Manoj ‘Day’ Ramalan (Grrrr…)
The eponymous role is custom-made for Akshay Kumar and while he plays it effortlessly, he is clearly getting repetitive in his comic act (a concoction of Hera Pheri 1 & 2, Tashan, Khiladi series et al).
Akshaye Khanna as Aatish Kapoor, an Oscar-hungry actor, whose only mission in life is to groove on the Day-Ho number (akin to Anil Kapoor’s joyous leap on Jai-Ho when he was called to receive one of the Oscars for Slumdog Millionnaire), is brilliant. He is expected to act terribly and he does that with such perfection, that it gets on your nerves.
Farah’s fascination for Manoj Kumar (remember Om Shanti Om controversies?) continues in this one too. It’s high time the filmmaker realises that spoofs don’t work — not always!
Composer duo Vishal-Shekhar’s music has mass appeal. As Khan’s girlfriend in the film, Anya (Katrina Kaif) is categorically roped in only for her sex-appeal and she has oodles of it. Anya, a struggling actress is also cast by Khan in his fake film and her role in it is as questionable as her role in TMK. But Farah Khan’s raunchy choreography of the item number, Sheila Ki Jawani, portrays Kat at her sexiest best. Apara Mehta is a cheap imitation of Kirron Kher in Farah’s previous film Om Shanti Om.
Sachin Khedekar, Aman Verma and Murli Sharma as police officers are hardly amusing on screen. Salman Khan shows his ‘jalwa’ yet again in a cameo. TMK may take a smashing opening at the box office, courtesy Sheila and her jawani, but there is every chance of it fizzling out soon.
Though funny in bits and pieces, too much of hamming makes it a boring watch.

ALSO READ REVIEW: BAND BAAJA BAARAT

 

 

Jaya Biswas

Film: Guzaarish
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Monikangana Dutta, Suhel Seth
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Rating: Very good
 

Hrithik fans can heave a sigh of relief and finally rejoice, for the actor has redeemed himself with his fantastic performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest offing, Guzaarish, after giving a box office dud like Kites.
Guzaarish is one of those films that is not just meant to entertain you, but makes an attempt to shake you by the intensity of its content. Like Bhansali’s Black, Guzaarish too strives to survive on the spirit of a central character — in this case a quadriplegic, whose life depends more on machines than anything else. Yet, the film tugs at your heartstrings because you can’t help but feel compassionate towards Ethan and his lifeless life. It is a simple story woven in a fascinating web of fervent sentiments, superb cinematography and interesting dialogues.
The film sees the return of one of the hottest pair in Bollywood — Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Director Sanjay Leela Bansali is donning the director’s hat after three years, this time dealing with a sensitive subject like euthanasia or mercy killing.
Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) used to be the best magician in town (Goa, to be precise). But a fatal accident left him paralysed and bedridden for life. But Ethan believes in the theory of ‘smile and the world smiles with you’; we see him hosting a radio show ‘Hello Zindagi’ (ironical indeed) where he spreads hope to listeners through his inimitable wit and humour. For 12-long-years, he’s being aided by a nurse, Sofia D’Souza (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), who’s also his companion, caregiver and much more.
On the 14th anniversary of his accident, Ethan decides to make a petition to the court for euthanasia (which he humourously calls ‘Ethanasia’). This leaves his best friend and lawyer Devyani (Shernaz Patel) and Sofia in a frenzy. Meanwhile, a young lad Omar Siddiqui (Aditya Roy Kapoor) enters Ethan’s world with an earnest desire to learn magic from him. Impressed by Omar’s dedication to magic Ethan agrees to pass on his legacy to him.
The indoors as well as outdoors add so much to the film. There’s no refuting that cinematographer Sudeep K Chatterjee has created some really enthralling visuals that’s sure to stay with you for a very long time. The first half is breezy and you don’t realise when it gets over. The second half is a bit of a drag. Like Kal Ho Naa Ho, Guzaarish’s narrative is light-hearted with many funny moments. Sample this: Ethan says, ‘God pe bharosa hai, isiliye I am dying to meet him.’ Also, the scene in which Sofia gives Ethan a leg massage is hilarious.
The songs in Guzaarish are meaningful which seamlessly blend with the situations. Tera Zikr Hai Ya Itra Hai is exceptional while Udi is foot tapping.
Now let’s come to Bhansali’s recklessness. The film’s plot has an uncanny resemblance to the Spanish film, The Sea Inside (2004). Based on the real life story of a sailor-turned-poet Ramdon Sampredo, who became a quadriplegic following an accident, the film dwells on his three-decade long struggle to get the government grant him euthanasia. Sampredo, immaculately essayed by Spanish heartthrob Javier Bardem, had two women in his life, a lawyer and a nurse. One only wishes Bhansali had bothered to change the characters in this one. And not just the plot, few scenes where Hrithik is seen on a wheelchair staring at the sea is a straight lift from Bardem’s film. Again, the scene where Hrithik exhibits his magic tricks on stage is an exact copy of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.
Also the director must have decided to give his favourite theme ‘blue’ a break and opt for black and red instead, which again we see in opulence — be it Ash’s long frilly gowns, Hrithik’s performance attire or the stage backdrop. We don’t mind it at all!
A unique love story, passion in Guzaarish is expressed with subtle smirks and gentle smiles. Ash’s looks pretty in her classy dresses and aprons. The scene where he burst into a rapturous dance performance in a resto-bar is worth a mention. Suhel Seth as Ethan’s doctor and Nafisa Ali as Ethan’s mom do their parts well. Aditya Roy Kapoor is effortless. After Action Replayy and Guzaarish, this VJ-turned-actor is definitely making his presence felt.
As for Hrithik, Guzaarish is likely to act as the much-required springboard to bounce back.

Film: Golmaal 3
Director: Rohit Shetty
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Arshad Warsi, Tushaar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu, Mithun Chakraborty, Ratna Pathak, Johnny Lever
Rating: Good

 

 

Shauli Chakraborty


Rohit Shetty’s annual outings with the Golmaal team are proving to be very lucky not only for the director but for the cast as well. For Kunal Khemu and Tushaar Kapoor the film brings much-needed visibility and for Arshad Warsi and Shreyas Talpade it ensures more scope in the comic genre. Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor sizzle as a couple whereas Mithun Chakraborty and Ratna Pathak don’t.
We are not going to get into the plot as there is hardly one. Whatever little resembles the plot does not deserve any mention. The film is entirely performance oriented and it is the actors who share the responsibility of keeping their act together. And no, they don’t disappoint. Those well known in the Golmaal crowd like Ajay, Shreyas and Arshad are fabulous, Tushaar and his phonetical skills manage to keep the house on fire and Kunal Khemu too does well for himself. Johnny Lever is repetitive and looks saturated. The guy badly needs to re-invent himself.
However, it is Mithun who steals the show with his disco dancer number where he shakes a leg with Ratna. Even if they lack chemistry the duo make sure nobody questions their acting skills. Kareena, dressed in casuals throughout, chucks her hot-chick look. But the Kapoor kudi manages to hold her own in the presence of senior actors. Here she is one of the boys who picks up fights with strangers on the beach and does not hesitate to pack a few blows. Once, amidst a bar brawl when the boys indulge in a war of words she breaks a bottle and comes up with some choicest abuses. When all fall silent she turns to Ajay and asks, “Kya soch rahe ho.” He blurts out, “Tumhare gaali ka matlab!” 
The script is a little loose but hilarious. The dialogues are good and punches unique even though there are instances where the lines are predictable. Lines such as mere pyaar ka ras zara chakhle/ o mere hakle and main apna mu chhupa raha hun kyonki meri maa kisi ke saath bhaag gai leave you shaking on your seats. The action sequences are amateurish and very very tacky.
Overall, it is a one-time watch and apt for family viewing. If 80 per cent occupancy for the morning show at a city multiplex, is anything to go by, Golmaal 3 looks set to rule the box office in the coming weeks. The crowd screamed, whistled and had fun. Exactly, what you expect from them.

Film: Knock Out
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan Khan, Kangna Ranaut, Sushant Singh, Gulshan Grover
Director: Mani Shankar
Rating: Good

 

 

Agnibho Gangopadhyay


Knock Out needed to be released. For the uncanny similarity of the promotional clips with the Hollywood psychological thriller Phone Booth is so glaring that 20th Century Fox Studio (makers of Phone Booth) unsuccessfully attempted to put a stay on the release of Knock Out.
Why did the Fox legal team fail? The answer is that Mani Shankar, director of Knock Out, has cleverly appropriated the setting of Phone Booth—well, a phone booth, sniper, the ethical crises in a hostage situation, moral vigilantism—but has magnified the scope of the original screenplay so much that it feels like a different film altogether. A difference of degree, if high enough, can amount to a difference of kind. One has to admire, however grudgingly, the director’s silken, evolutionary adaptation.
A top-ranked CBI officer, the patriotic Veer Vijay Singh (Sanjay Dutt) is peeved and angry about black money in India. Thousands of crores of taxpayer’s money, and from welfare expenditure for the poor and the underprivileged are diverted to the vaults of Swiss Bank by the corrupt nexus of political leaders, corporate giants and bureaucrats. He hatches a plan to make a start in reverting that money to India. A Batman-like grip on technology, a Steven Seagal-like mastery over martial arts and a Bhagat Singh’s heart helps him in this quest. This highly stylised role is essayed with panache by Sanjubaba. He acts really well and mouths the patriotic but edgy dialogues with effortless conviction.
Now on to his plan. Tony alias Bacchu (Irrfan Khan) is one of the cogs in the black market machinery in India. A trusted sidekick of a corrupt minister (Gulshan Grover, ever-dependable as a baddie) with the rather incongruous acronym Bapuji, he leads a dissipated life — cheating on his wife, bedding girls galore, buying super-expensive shoes and watches — while posing as an investment banker in the public eye. He knows the code to Rs 32,000 crores of black money kept in Swiss bank by Bapuji. Sanjay Dutt traps him in a phone booth operating from a nearby highrise, holds him hostage, makes him a ridiculous figure to the public (Irrfan is made to dance to a raunchy item number!) and awakens the cops to his dubious transactions. But he cocoons Irrfan too. Irrfan’s initial arrogance, the consequent vulnerability and the final remorse — these are brought out wonderfully well by the master actor that Irrfan is.
In supporting roles, Kangna Ranaut as the sassy reporter and Sushant Singh as the honest cop are adequate. This is a fast-paced, songless thriller with a social responsibility, in the ilk of A Wednesday. In the high-pitch of nationalist agenda, however, it loses the subtle nuances and the existential crisis that the film it was seemingly inspired from, Phone Booth, was replete with. However, this film tries to replace the individual predicaments explored in Phone Booth with a pertinent social issue. With its heart in the right place, this film will not disappoint you.

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