99 is the first movie to release on the big screen after a really long time, thanks to the multiplex-producer stand-off. The premise seemed interesting and being literally starved of Bollywood movies for almost a month I was really keen to watch the movie. But alas, disappointed would be an understatement.
The movie is about two uncomfortably close friends Sachin (Kunal Khemu with an extremely weird hairdo) and Zaramud (Cyrus Broacha in an extremely weird fat suit) who are scamsters and small time thieves back in 1999. In an escape attempt from the cops the duo steal and crash the local goon’s (AGM – A very funny Mahesh Manjerekar) Mercedes Benz. AGM is a cricket bookie and hires Sachin and Zaramud as recovery agents to repay the damage done to his car. This takes them to Delhi where they have to recover money from a compulsive gambler Rahul (Boman Irani). The usual cat-mouse chases, series of unfortunate events and predictable twists follow this.
The movie, though supposed to be funny manages to garner smiles which are very few and far in between. As far as the performances are concerned, Kunal Khemu still seems to have a hangover from the Footpath character. Cyrus Broacha is a lot funnier on the small screen than in the movie. Boman Irani looks out of place and this might be one of his forgettable roles. Soha Ali Khan’s character was totally unnecessary. The only saving grace is Mahesh Manjerekar who shows excellent comic timing and has some of the movie’s best dialogues.
Technically the movie looks and feels like a novice’s attempt and that is what it is. The movie has been directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK and drags along on numerous occasions. Every interaction between Boman Irani and his wife (Simone Singh) makes you cringe in your seat. They also try extremely hard to make us believe that they are in 1999 with innumerable references to “Snake game” on the cell phone, incoming calls being charged and Bill Clinton’s visit.
All in all the movie would have been great if it was a 30-minute special television movie. I would say skip this one, stay home and watch an IPL match instead.