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Short Kut – The Con is On July 13, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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Lately, Neeraj Vora and Anees Bazmee have been behind some blockbuster not-so-funny comedies but both of them coming together for a film did raise my expectations a little – especially given this was produced by Anil Kapoor. The promos also looked very promising and that’s why I picked this over other recent “blockbusters” like New York and Kambakkht Ishq to watch this week.

Yet again, I seemed to have made a wrong choice. I would atleast have been satisfied if this was in the league of the filmmakers’ previous flicks but that’s expecting too much now. Based on the Malayalam hit Udayananu Tharam, Short Kut has an interesting plot – whose basic core is derived from Sai Paranjpye’s “Katha” with a dose of “Bowfinger” towards the end. Shekhar (Akshaye Khanna) is an assistant director who finally completes his script and aspires to start directing. In comes his long time friend Raju (Arshad Warsi) who by any means wants to become a “star”. Raju believes in shortcuts to achieve anything in life and not surprisingly he ends up stealing Shekhar’s script and is catapulted to success. Shekhar is devastated and begins to lose control over his life but finally he gets a chance to redeem himself by directing a new film. The glitch however is that his film would now have to made with Raju.

Beyond the story, almost everything is Short Kut fails miserably. The most irritating aspect of this movie is the supporting cast; even if the movie were a lot more better it still could not have risen above the din created by those obnoxious characters. Their effect also seemed to have rubbed off on seasoned performers like Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi who look quite tired and have great trouble getting their comic timing in place. Amrita Rao and Chunky Pandey don’t impress much either. In fact, the parts which I found funny in the trailers don’t work at all in the actual film.

Anees Bazmee and Neeraj Vora – who seem to love bombarding the message several times that “Shortcuts do not work” need to do some introspection and figure if they haven’t done the same with their own product. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s score doesn’t have any instant chartbusters but for me that was one of the few things which provided some relief in this dreary experience. In line with the film’s message please do refrain from this “Short Kut”.

Race March 22, 2008

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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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.