This action thriller lacks real punch, hence it failed Sneha May Francis acid test.
(Published in e+, Gulf News, Oct 15, 2009)
Pentane, a gas that temporarily wipes out memory, intrigued film-maker Suparn Verma so much so that it prompted him to make a film about it. However, the idea, a rip-off from Colombian flick Unknown, didn’t actually translate into a good film. Instead, the attempt turned out to be so torturous that after watching the movie I wished to lay my hands on the gas, inhale it and erase Acid Factory from my memory!
Verma lacks maturity as a story teller. His obssession with car chases, inability to break away from Bollywood cliches and poor character sketches leaves us with a lame thriller. In an attempt to be clever, Verma pushes in twists around the plot, making the ordeal more painful for the viewer. In fact, the entire premise that locks up six characters in an acid factory, makes it a little hard to believe.
Despite being a rip-off, writer Milind Gadagkar didn’t tweak it enough to give it an edge over the original. Dialogues by Saurabh Shukla border on the inane, with "I’ll kill you" shouted randomly by almost all characters at various points in the film. The screenplay by Verma, who earlier reviewed films for online portal rediff.com, and film-maker Sanjay Gupta, known for his Hollywood re-hashes like Kaante and Musafir, leaves a lot to be desired. The only point Verma scored was for chopping the film to two hours!
With so much going on with the script, it was Bajpai’s killer act that made the journey a tad tolerable. Despite being a badly-etched character, he magically pulls it through, even evoking some genuine laughs. But even his tiny role can’t save the film. The casting clearly divides the talented lot of Bajpai, Irrfan Khan and Denzongpa, from the wannabes like Dia Mirza, Khan, Dino Morea and Aftab Shivadasani. Looks like the younger team concentrated more on their looks than their acting skills.
It’s time our film-makers learnt that there’s more to making intelligent action thrillers than merely copying a script.