Sunday, April 03, 2011

If 'Game' rhymes with lame, it's not just coincidence!

I don't know how many of you remember the posters of 'Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya', the second film of Abhishek Bachchan which actually was supposed to be his debut film (that honor(?) went to J.P. Dutta's 'Refugee'). Since the director A. Muthu was an unknown entity in North the posters emphasized the name (and stature) of Vashu Bhagnani, who was bankrolling Govinda's golden year No.1 movies.

I was sane enough in 2000 not to fall for Bhagnani's charade because I was not a fan of his kind of cinema and skipped TJCG, but this time I fell for the producer of Junior Bachchan's latest flick. 'Game' is produced by Excel Entertainment, Farhan Akhtar's production house and though their last film 'Karthick Calling Karthick' is remembered only for making "Murali Karthik stumped by Dinesh Karthick" kind of jokes I still had faith that Akhtar's name stands for sensible and entertaining cinema.

Otherwise why should you watch a movie which has 1) a director whose only claim to fame till now is that he happens to be the director of Amir Khan's 'Delhi Belly' (apart from the fact that he is a hotshot ad film maker), 2) got not more than 2 stars in every single review, 3) doesn't a single hummable song and worst of all, 4) has Kangna Ranaut playing a police officer!

The good things first because we will run through them quite fast. The film is slick and not 'Sanjay Gupta slick' which means enough leather that will require every single cow on the planet to be slaughtered and lots of slow motions shot in sepia. The cinematography of KV Thyagarajan which makes both the locales and ladies look absolutely gorgeous is great. (On second thoughts, you can't go much wrong with Ranaut and Sarah Jane Dias, can you?)

The story by Althea Delmas Kaushal (and that's one person, thank you) is supposedly based on Agatha Christy's 'And There Were None'. And this adaptation has so many loopholes that if Christy would be alive today she would have committed suicide than get her name associated with such a film.

One problem of stylish films is that in order to add the gloss, the makers overlook small details, which come as jarring. So Ms. Ranaut plays Sia Agnihotri a 'Chief Investigation Officer' from something called 'International Vigilance Squad' and comes at a murder scene wearing a shoulder holster and an ID-card like IT employees! A foot chase sequence (exceedingly well shot in Istanbul) so bizarre in its motive that I couldn't understand head or tail of it! (Why would you follow a man in such a way that he finds out you are following him?)

The surveillance mechanism of the International Vigilance Squad is so good that a phone call made to Andheri Police Station immediately finds its way to its officers travelling to Mumbai, but is so bad that a man under scrutiny flies across continents without them being any wiser.

A character who is supposedly 'deep undercover' blows his cover and joins Ms Agnihotri in investigation without batting an eyelid and worrying about his existing operations (about which we are not told anything anyways!)

A man sneaks in the house of a Thai PM candidate, undetected without any apparent external help and bugs his room and phone and then in the apartment of a top Hindi movie star and beats him black and blue (actually pulpy red!) It is these leaps of faith that the film demands and I can not supply. See if you can.

The film tries to establish its characters early in the first half as billionaire Kabir Malhotra invites 4 Indians from different cities (with a letter which has just their names on envelope, no addresses needed you see!) to his island in Greece and holds 3 of them responsible for his abandoned daughter's death (umm.. sir can I ask a question: why did you leave her in first place? Shut up and sit down, no questions) while anointing the 4th as his second daughter. The morning later he is killed. Pretty good mystery you would say. Pretty bad on screen if you dare to watch! The second half goes completely berserk with useless subplot and useless twist. And if you thought the mystery is engrossing you are wrong. You can guess the killer quite early but the motive remains the mystery.

Boman Irani, that fine actor, is reduced to hamming as aforementioned short tempered Thai PM candidate. Jimmy Shergil playing Vikram Kapoor the star, is his usual pitiful soul with blood on his hands (pun intended) while Shahana Goswami plays Tisha, a crime reporter in London (who has got 3 cases of drunken driving in a month and managed to keep her channel oblivious of it).

It was supposed to be Abhishek Bachchan's film but due to colossal disaster named 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se' Eros decided to give equal weightage to other actors in the publicity. And in my opinion the casting director got this role of Neil Menon, an Istanbul based casino owner/drug smuggler perfectly cast but Bachchan is saddled with quite lame dialogues and uninspired writing.

And writing is below par in every form, dialogues by Farhan Akhtar and lyrics by papa Akhtar included! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy make you want to give them a 'De Ghuma Ke' with completely disappointing score.

There is a scene where Bachchan's character says 'I need some fresh air'. Trust me, he echoed my sentiments!