This action flick is weakened by a poor script, lack of logic and weak performances, writes Sneha May Francis
cast Imran Khan, Shruti Hassan, Danny Denzongpa, Sanjay Dutt, Ravi Kishan, Mithun Chakraborty, Chitrashi Rawat
director Soham Shah
Moussa (Dutt) devises a game that ropes in people, desperate for cash but with unbelievable luck, to cheat death. Helping him scout for prospective participants is his faithful sidekick Tamang (Denzongpa). Once a handful of players is collected, they are packed off to Cape Town for the grand finale, where people from across the globe bet on their lives.
Ram Mehra (Khan) is a miracle boy who learns about his powerful luck after selling lottery tickets to Tamang. But the same luck eluded him when struggling to square up his dad’s debts. The other contenders are Major Jawal Pratap Singh, (Chakraborty) who hopes to treat his dying wife; Shortkut (Rawat), a Pakistani camel jockey dreaming of making it big; Raaghav (Kishan) a serial killer who wins back his life due to a weak rope; and Ayesha (Hassan) who wants to get even with her sister’s ‘killer’.
It’s a neat plot, no doubt, but Shah’s sluggish approach leaves too many loopholes. The game is along the lines of the AXN Fear Factor TV series, only you could lose your life in this version. And unlike the hit telly show, Tamang forgets to brief the contestants before each game, but rather gives them a peptalk on ‘luck’. The participants, barring the lead gang, are a mix of nationalities, some that even speak fluent Hindi! For an action flick that boasts involving an international betting industry, the stunts turn out way too shoddy. It’s ironic how this death-defying game sees almost all the Indian contingent walking away unscathed, barring one minor accident.
Denzongpa outshines the rest with his controlled, classy act. The first runner-up is Rawat for her earnest energetic portrayal, while Kishan takes the second-runner up slot for his menacing performance. The fourth position is a tie between veterans Chakravorty, who appears too aged and muffled in his thick sweaters, and Dutt, who looks bloated as the tough guy. As for debutante Hassan, she hasn’t inherited any talent from her famous actor parents Kamal and Sarika. And lead man Khan is a misfit, he’s more of a young romantic than a rustic action hero. Hopefully he’ll make a more realistic pick for his next film.
For a filmmaker who started off with flop Kaal, this is definitely an improvement. But if you haven’t been subjected to this torturous film yet, consider yourself... er, lucky!
(Published in e+, Gulf News, July 30, 2009)