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Race March 22, 2008

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Director duo Abbas-Mustan (Baazigar, Khiladi) are famous for their thrillers. With their latest (and biggest) film, they have created a new genre. And I’d like to call this “twister”. Remember, you read the term here first!

Jokes apart, Abbas-Mustan seem to be intent on delivering a blockbuster after their recent flops. Along with writer Shiraz Ahmed (Aitraaz, Humraaz), they fill this film with everything. Stars, style, action, humor, a bit of raunch, sexy girls gyrating to foot-tapping numbers, and most of all – the largest serving ever of twists, turns, surprises and whatever else you want to call them.

Nothing is what it seems in this film. Actually, if you pay close attention, you might be able to guess most of the twists because the directors try their best not to confuse any section of the audience. But that doesn’t necessarily spoil the fun. Because even as you guess it, the surprise is upon you and its time to figure out the next one.

Now, in case you are still wondering, the story and all its glorious twists are pointless. This isn’t something that would happen anywhere else except an Abbas-Mustan film (or its imitations, depending on the success of this film).

The film has star power to bring the audience to the theatres but the acting isn’t special. Anil Kapoor charms his way through the second half and he makes you laugh. Sameera Reddy doesn’t do a bad job with her comic timing as his dumb assistant. Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna tread familiar terrain (the latter has been in too many Abbas-Mustan films) and don’t do anything different to stand out in particular. Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif are passable. Johnny Lever shows up after a long time in one scene.

The film does start off at a slow pace (editor Hussain Burmawala, the brother of the directors, might have been sleeping while editing the first 20 minutes or so) and just when it begins to seem uninteresting, the first surprise spices up things. The dialogue in the first half of this film isn’t impressive. This half lacks humor but the second half fills that void. Pritam provides some hit dance numbers but the theme piece and the romantic Pehli Nazar Mein stand out (and I quite liked the Mujhpe To Jadoo number which wasn’t used in the film). The song visuals aren’t all that impressive and they seem one-dimensional. Allan Amin’s action sequences are good for the most part but a couple of them do fall short. But the action isn’t the prime focus of this film. Remember, this is no Dhoom 2 and anyone who expects it to be might be disappointed.

After reading all this, anyone should be clear that terms like sense or logic do not go well with the description of this film. Questions like “Why did he do that?” and “What was the necessity for that?” are counterintuitive. The number of surprises may numb your senses and vex you. But it can all be fun if you prepare for it. Films like Dhoom 2 and Om Shanti Om are not enjoyed for their stories or realism or character development and neither is this movie. This is an upmarket Abbas-Mustan thriller that has enough masala to go with its shortcomings and it can be a guilty pleasure.


1. Shujath - March 31, 2008

Apart from an increase in the budget and the starcast, Abbas-Mustan haven’t covered new ground. Oh yes…apart from those twists which are the saving grace of this movie and they are actually more funny than thrilling. There are stories with twists but this is a case of twists with a story….and calling this a “twister” is 200% justified.

I am wondering why these guys can’t think of another plot apart from those one-upmanship games between the protagonists where “upmanship” refers only to sleeping with you enemy’s girl/guy. Agreed, you can’t think beyond but atleast please change the situations! If you remember in “Ajnabee” Bipasha is bumped off towards the intermission but everyone knows she’ll be back because she has to sing the “Mehbooba” number with Akshay Kumar. Similarly here, when Saif gets bumped you know he has to be back to sing the “Allah Duhai” number with Bipasha.

But still I enjoyed this one, because it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a mindless multistarrer masala flick. Most importantly, if you haven’t seen it yet and are going to watch it then make sure that you follow the instructions in the previous review and never ask “Why did he do that” or “Couldn’t he have done something less complicated”. Watch this one with these ground rules and I am pretty sure you’ll like it.

Tailpiece: More than the movie I was actually pretty impressed with the trailer of “Love Story: 2050” shown during the intermission. A futuristic love story set amidst robots and other hi-tech stuff seemed quite interesting but you never know….our guys can screw up something like this big time given it comes from the “not so reliable” Harry Baweja.

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