Director: Sajid Nadiadwala
Now that I think about it, this is the perfect movie for Sajid Nadiadwala to make his directorial debut. What does a Bhai’s movie need anyways? Nothing except Bhai himself. The rest can be on auto pilot and his fans still won’t notice. The entertainment quotient of Bhai’s Eid releases has consistently fallen after the highs achieved by Wanted and has now comfortably settled down between I-can’t-believe-I-paid-for-this and I-paid-for-this-so-I-have-to-enjoy-this. Yet, the box office collections do not ebb. (Jai Ho was a badly publicized aberration) By the time you read this, the film will have already recovered its cost and before negative word of mouth spreads around, you will be hearing how after a 100 crore milestone, it’s set to conquer the 200 crore peak. Still reviewers like me labour on with hope that collective public opinion will change one day and good films will trounce bad films in the end.
After that small prayer, let’s move on to the task at hand: reviewing Bhai’s latest piece of junk. He makes an entry on a strange vehicle that’s a motorbike to begin with and a vintage car to end with. The heroine, Jacqueline Fernandez is in the back seat and a car full of goons brandishing swords in hot pursuit. Colourful confetti flies all around and through the paper rain Bhai’s impish face is revealed. Cue for audience to launch into a flurry of wolf-whistles. But this was the first and last time the audience co-operated. Guess the rest of the film was too boring for people to put their fingers under their tongues.
We already know that a Bollywood hero can do almost anything. Why then insult him by giving him an animated backstory explaining the roots of his genius. So Bhai plays a super human who gets his adrenalin rush or “kick” out of doing simple things in a challenging way. He can’t stick to a regular job because “isme kick nahi hai!”. His nagging, psychiatrist girlfriend would rather see him making money the conventional way. So he walks off in a huff with the takeaway that she would rather see him making money.
Enter Devil, Bhai’s alter ego who robs people in the news, wearing a mask that looks like a cross between the Batman symbol and Krrish. Hot on pursuit is ace inspector Randeep Hooda. Suddenly, the action shifts to Poland where red buses prominently marked “King’s Cross” ply on the street. Pardon me dear reader but at this point, thanks to continuity lapses in the script, I lost track of the plot. All I know is that millionaire Nawazuddin Siddiqui shows up and there are plans afoot to loot him too. In a bizarre twist, a flashback is introduced to justify the Devil’s kleptomania and inject some sort of logic in the movie. Fails. Miserably. And reminds you of a similar device used in Bhai’s Bodyguard. Some more action follows. By now, I was furtively looking at my watch rather than the screen.
You don’t laugh when Nadiadwala throws slapstick routines at you. The songs have been layered over the movie like oil on water. They won’t mix but will make ugly splotches. A Nargis Fakhri–cum–Bhai item number is so bad, they haven’t even used in the trailers. Imagine that! Not using an item number for publicity! And the action scenes! Ineptly editing the action and reducing it to extreme close-ups and reaction shots, the thrill of a chase is completely diluted. The budget is utilised for booking locations and hiring expensive vehicles and stuntmen. But there is no substitute for a good imagination.
There used to be time when plot lines and entire scenes were lifted from international films. Now it’s mostly stray moments that find their way into our movies. I noticed the hand-made gun from In The Line of Fire, the supersonic twirl from The Mask, the leap from a high-rise from Mission Impossible 4, a shard/axe whizzing millimeters past the face from Last Action Hero and even a small sequence from Amitabh Bachchan’s Sharabi! Alert viewers will no doubt notice many more of such transgressions.
To say something about Bhai’s acting chops would be a waste of our time. He struts around like he’s emerged fresh from the gym, says a few lines of dialogue and that’s it! Oh and this time he keeps his shirt on. A ganji-level view is all you get for the price of your ticket. Jacqueline botches up her lines whenever she is required to speak more than ten words together. Mithun Chakraborty ought to stop embarrassing himself by appearing in minor supporting roles, each time trying to evoke the persona for which he has become famous. The actor in Prabhuji is long dead. Randeep Hooda plays his character straight with minimum histrionics. But the scene stealer is Nawazuddin Siddiqui. A welcome relief from the omnipresent Prakash Raj brand of villainy. He uses a raspy laugh to round off his lines and it works wonderfully. Although it becomes a little repetitive because of overuse by Nadiadwala.
What Kick taught me is that Indian filmmakers have become experts at cutting trailers. Looking at Kick’s on television, I suspected we are finally making headway with the action genre. Now after seeing the entire film, I realize we are actually moving in the other direction.