After Indian nominees at the Oscars, its time to send our foreign film nomination for the Razzies (Golden Raspberry Awards given to the WORST films of the year). Though there have been strong contenders this year for the same, this one stands as a clearcut winner. Here’s why –
Jiya (Sabina Sheema) is a steadfast corporate girl with a flourishing career concerned about her boyfriend’s lackadaisical attitude towards his struggling career as a screenplay writer. Lost in his video games, Ajay (Shubh Mukherjee) conveniently forgets his girlfriend’s “very important” business presentation. Many congratulations are in place as Jiya is offered a place in a foreign firm in Australia after just one presentation. Reality check spins her into super mean girl mode as she gives a two month deadline to Ajay to prove his worth (while he still lives lavishly with her and her parents?). Her mother thinks Ajay is ideal groom material with a golden heart because he spends his quality time playing with street urchins as opposed to plagiarizing Hollywood films and earning a quick buck. Her dad verbalizes the ‘but obvious’ as though the film’s audience was six years old and found the plot too complex to digest. You wish they made a repellant to keep her nauseatingly irritating friend at bay! Ajay is asked to write a script for the robbery of a diamond necklace called “Constellation” (being exhibited at the local museum) by a super rich foursome. They dole out hard cash for the script and our unsuspecting naïve scriptwriter is ready to jettison his career. You guessed it right. The police (Milind Soman) arrest our lad when the shady foursome make the Nakshatra disappear (but fail to disappear themselves! Hello! Isn’t that the first rule in the manual of theft – grab and abscond?) Oddly, they don’t even bother going underground and wait in their permanent residences to be mysteriously shot one by one. Will our nincompoop serve the prison sentence? Will the Nakshatra be restored? Will the real killer be caught? Seriously, do you really want to find out?
Again, superfluous songs, stripped of beat and lyric, shot in waterfalls, beaches and trees are forced down our throats. Of course, there is all the regular masala – airborne collisions, exploding cars, a thumka item number by Rozza Catalano, and an incredulous chase sequence that defies speed – Milind Soman on two legs is faster than Shubh on a bicycle and the four wheeler cars around them!
The acting of the lead starcast was more plastic and artificial than the flowers on my desk. Although cast well, Shubh Mukherjee’s acting is overly pretentious in his debut film. Sabina Sheema lacks the glamour and charisma required of her character and at times seems to be mouthing words bereft of all emotion. Veteran actor Anupam Kher emerges unscathed through this burning mess. Wish his character and dialogues were worked upon. What a waste of good talent. Milind Soman was a complete misfit as your everyday police cop. Just because he vomits out a couple of phrases in Marathi doesn’t mean he can fit into the character. Like Phantom, he mysteriously appears and disappears throughout. The tightly budgeted film couldn’t afford him a razor. Sorry dude but everyone can’t pull off a George Clooney with grey stubble. Indian cinema has crafted iconic characters like ACP Rathore (Aamir Khan) of Sarfarosh or Vijay (much revered Amitabh Bacchan) in Zanjeer. Even watching reruns of these would have produced better acting!
An unnecessarily twisted yet banal storyline, stale dialogues (impromptu acting would have worked better in places), unanswered questions – a pygmy wannabe Mogambo with a sardar guard who speaks Bihari? An unkempt vet living in the jungle with complete disregard for personal hygiene who is a cross between a witch and a cowboy? Anupam Kher serves as his own alibi while fishing on a yacht in Mumbai?
Indeed, the suspense of the film is the SUSPENSE! (It’s completely missing!) As predictable after predictable scene rolls out your left wondering whether this was a very cruel prank or a new research method to test your patience. I started my own testing – is salted popcorn better? Or caramel? Or both together? What about with some Pepsi? What if they made chocolate flavored popcorn? So many questions, so much suspense!