Lara Lappa, Lara Dutta, Laayi Rakhda
Heard of drug mafia, land mafia among others? Beware of the comparatively newer breed in India, called review mafia. This community builds strategic relationships with those producing biggies, get paid handsomely (from the promotional budgets) and create hype for it through their high “paid” review ratings well before the film is released for the public, so that initials are secured. All that glitters may not be gold; it can be a burning coal instead…
Sagar (Sanjay Dutt), an ace diver, works for filthy rich businessman Aarav (Akshay Kumar) for some “fishy” work. His younger brother Sameer (Zayed Khan) moved away from him to live on his own, and now his world is limited to his work and his pretty lady Mona (Lara Dutta). Sagar and Aarav are more of friends, and Aarav keeps asking him to assist in unearthing a treasure from a ship “Lady in Blue” which contained part of the booty the British looted from India, and which mysteriously sank while on its way back to India through the sea in 1949. For some reason, Sagar never agrees to help Aarav for this task.
Sameer wins in a bike race with Gulshan (Rahul Dev), but later loses an expensive consignment before delivering while working for Gulshan in a police chase. Now he either has to pay up the cost or die. His girlfriend Niki (Katrina Kaif), who works with Gulshan, is in trouble. He runs away to Sagar, but still gets spotted by the goons. To pay off, they now must go to the treasure hunt. Do Aarav and Sameer convince Sagar to do the job, what exactly was the treasure and the motive to get it is what follows…
Director Anthony D’Souza is successful in compiling great cast / crew, exotic locations, and a comparatively new genre “underwater thrills” in bollywood. Having directed non features prior to this, he very well understands “how” and “where” of taking shots. The problem is his lack of focus and understanding of the very important “what” and “when”. Lackluster writing wipes out most of the effect of technical brilliance. The dialogues are the next culprit. Looks like those were written in English first, and then translated in Hindi by some cheesy writer. The lines range from average, to below average and down to be atrocious at places (not to forget reference to the ornaments). Many unconvincing sequences include the reasoning behind Sagar’s reluctance, sharks being friendlier than the dolphins, Aarav’s insistence on only Sagar to do the job (which took hardly any time once he agreed, and looked so trivial), the dead body skeleton and the whole treasure still there intact after 50 years, just three people going for such difficult and dangerous hunt without any backup in their ship, and the ultimate underwater survival in the very lame climax.
Things which go positive for the film are the three breath taking bike racing / chase sequences and the awesome cinematography capturing the beauty of the Bahamas to the core. All credits to the foreign technicians for those. If only 50% of the efforts of those were put in writing, it could have been a different game altogether.
Performances: Akshay Kumar looked physically fit and replaying his KKK role (with Sanjay, rather than the 13 haseenayen). Acting wise he is at par with his performances in KI and 8x12. Sanjay Dutt looked tired and grown leap and bound all over. Lara Dutta’s 5 minutes impact of two piece appearance in “Aaj Dil Gustakh” is more than that of all others combined in the rest of the film. There were quite a few mild heart attacks in the theatre during that period. Though Sanjay/Lara looked one of the most mismatched pair of the year (they were better together in “Zinda”). If Zayed performs like this after “being serious” in his career, only God can save us. Katrina’s role is more of an eye candy and she does that bit gracefully. Kylie Minogue’s appearance and dance number is not so happening. Rahul Dev successfully looked mean and dangerous.
Music: Apart from “Aaj Dil Gustakh”, the soundtrack is way below par of Rahman’s caliber. The ARR magic is missing.