The Cool Duds
It’s sad that quite a few young directors, who have been mentored and groomed under big production houses (YRF, Dharma Productions) and got the big launching there, all of a sudden start churning out enormously budgeted weak products after moving away from their mentors. The list includes the likes of Nikhil Advani, Sanjay Gadhvi and now, Soham…
Bhaiyon Ka Bhai Mousa Bhai (Sanjay Dutt) and his associate Tamang (Danny) run a betting den somewhere in Cape Town and rake in the big money from the wealthy betters. The modus operandi is to send Tamang across the world to assemble a team of born luckies who are in desperate need of money and are ready to play rounds of deadly games over twenty days and the survivor (if any) gets a chance to win twenty crore prize money.
Ram (Imran Khan) doesn’t have much time to arrange big money to return to the investors (who were cheated by his now dead father) and support his mother (Rati Agnihotri). Ex army major Jawar Singh (Mithun) needs money to cure his ailing wife (Rupa Ganguli). Shortcut (Chitrashi Rawat) is a teenage camel jockey who wants money to own a big car to drive on the streets of Pakistan. And there is a cold blooded murderer Raghav (Ravi Kissen) who is let off from his death penalty due to a most bizarre reason. Ayesha (Shruti) too joins the brigade. Since it was already intermission by this time and there were no more Indo-Pak players, we don’t know why the rest of them came and who they were. Now the one round per day game starts – right from blind shooting, blind air diving so on and so forth. No prizes for guessing the result – some will be bumped off, the ones deserving will survive…
Obviously ripped off from a foreign DVD, it is tough to decide what is more pathetic – the screenplay/narrative or the dialogue. The way characters indulge in conversations evoke laughter and agony at the same time. The same words and their synonyms are permuted / combined to create dialogues out of them. Probably it was intended to compete with the classic ‘Heer Ranjha” but Soham is no Kaifi Azmi. The characters written and the actors caste are sketchy and hardly invoke any emotions towards them.
It’s the season of reality shows on TV and the film tries to cash-in their popularity. Lavish locations and visuals, dramatic and dangerous looking stunts and loud background music is poured in to sail smoothly, but it doesn’t even give the satisfaction of watching a mindless thriller. People today do understand and catch the contribution of special effects in the action sequences.
To summarize it is “Kismat Jhand Ba, Phir Bhi Ghamandva!!!” Do watch Krishna Shah’s thriller “Shalimar” again and relish the glorious moments of thrill, suspense and melody.
Performances: Sanjay Dutt sleepwalks (in slow motion) through his Musafir-sequel-like role. His introduction stunt also looks like the one he gets a blind folded Anil Kapoor do in “Musafir”. Mithun Chakraborty plays Amitabh Bachchan of “Kaante”. Imran Khan is stiff, saddled by bad choices of his films, and looks like Alex in Wonderland among the heavyweights. Shruti gets a rather nightmarish debut and delivers plain wooden performance – both in expressions as well as dialogue delivery. Chitrashi Rawat is supposed to be a Pakistani but hardly speaks any Punjabi or Urdu. She rather amalgamates her “Chak De” and “Fashion” styles. Ravi Kissen is good. He and Chitrashi are the saving grace of the whole cast. Danny gets quite a few scenes but both he and Mithun are victims of poor characterization and their lines. Rati Agnihotri and Roopa Ganguly play extras. Rest of the cast comprises mostly foreigners who are hardly allowed to speak or act, as they are just mean to shoot, dance or get bumped off.
Music: Not much scope for songs except for one in the background, Salim-Suleiman do an above average job with “Jee Le” and “Aazma” and ”Khudaya Ve”. Longevity of the numbers is doubtful. Background by Amar Mohile is alright.