Luck Stuck and One Smoking Jackpotboiler Tuesday, 28 July, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in Bollywood, Movies.
Tags: 13 Tzameti, action, Chitrashi Rawat, Danny Denzongpa, hindi, Imran Khan, Jackpot, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Luck, Masala, Mithunda, movie, potboiler, Review, Sajarur Kanta, Sanjay Gupta, Shruti Hassan, Snita Mahey, Soham Shah, Sunjay Dutt, suspense, Thriller
This review was first published on PFC [link].
There is this particular contemporary Thriller- Suspense genre in Hindi movies which probably started with Kaante. By now, the format and formulae of such movies are well established which can be summarized thus-
Plot- basically an ‘inspired’ story or a remake ( official or otherwise) from a cult, popular Hollywood or crime caper a world movie involving a large amount of money in US Dollars. First half- character establishments and bringing them together at one place. Post interval- intermingling of action, drama and emotion reaching to the climax ending with SFX assisted stunts and explosions. The mullah goes to the best looking and deserving couple of the movie.
Cast- Sanjay Dutt is absolutely indispensable with an unique mustache, hairdo and dress code, either named Moussa or Billa. Then add a motley bunch of highly stylized actors. Each of them should wear dark glasses, jackets and banyans irrespective of the weather conditions. Because these are supposed to be guy movies, the guy: chick ratio shouldn’t exceed 3: 1. There should be multiple Reservoir Doggish walk scene with suitable BGM to go with.
Locations- Essentially exotic foreign lands- deserts, mountains, fjords, canyons and dingy dungeons. Whatever difficult the terrain is, it must have a luxury Hotel with indoor swimming pool, buffet banquet et al.
Props- A long fleet of Stretch Limos, Hummers, BMWs, Audis, Mercs, Helicopters, Superbikes, Sunglassess, Guns, Leather Jackets, Bikinis, tank tops, Pathan suits, Short skirts, parachutes, explosions are bare minimum requirement. It must be noted that general laws of physics, common sense and certain degree of disbelief needs temporary suspension, in order to get suitably entertained.
BGM- highly contemporary and adrenalin pumping upbeat music with various remixes with jarring electric guitar chords, well coordinated with critical scenes.
Cinematography- as slick as possible with jump cuts, edits, wipes, slow motions, repeats shots with multiple camera angles- basically presentation should be over the top and on your face. Out of numerous songs one Sufi rock and one item number is mandatory.
I can easily remember the products of Sanjay Gupta’s White Feather films like Kaante (Reservoir Dogs, City on Fire, Usual Suspects, Heat), Zinda ( Old Boy), Plan, Musafir ( U –Turn), Vivek Agnihotri’s Chocolate (Usual Suspects) and Sanjay Gadhvi’s Dhoom 1 & Dhoom 2 , Anubhav Sinha’s Dus and Cash fall under this genre of films which redefine the concept of entertainment with élan, flourish and bravura . Abbas Mustan’s Race can also easily qualify to be enrolled into this bandwagon.
Luck, written and Directed by Soham Shah is the latest addition to this genre. Soham Shah, earlier had written and Directed the horror film- Kaal. Btw, is it sheer luck that Laak is reverse of Kaal ? Who is the kaalprit ?
The film starts with showing 5 blindfolded faces with their country names and a value in US$. Alongwith other white and dark skinned human species, Moussa is the highest with value, 1,00,000 $. These men are shown to be caged in a truck parked aside a railway track, all blindfolded and hands tied up. A speeding train approaches towards the cage, the guys jump out on the track, at the nick of time and starts crossing the tracks running parallel to each other. A shot from the top shows speeding trains traveling up and down in each track and the men running for their life to reach the extreme end. While other gets brutally ‘trained’, Moussa wins this deadly race, opens his blindfold and releases a sigh of relief. Welcome to the world of extreme betting, welcome to the world of Karim Moussa (Sanjay Dutt), who has changed the betting world with such high stakes that death becomes insignificant compared to the money.
Some people are born with luck which saves them from inevitable death, not once but every time. Such people with deathproof luck are Moussa’s playing cards, who are betted through internet by gamblers all over the world for the great game of death, grand daddy of the betting world. Moussa plays satta with human lives and the lucky winners, by cheating death make him and themselves richer with every game.
If this sounds interesting please read the plot of 13 Tzameti ( I have not seen it though).
Mousa royally dons a horse shoe mustache, always wears a jacket over pathan suit, smokes cigars, carries a dazzling mobile phone (which must have won a mobile decorating competition with sparkling beads, by nursery children) rides nothing less than a hummer or a limo, lands on a terrace coffee shop on his helicopter and never dies. Also in most of his dialogues he either talks about his usool (principles) in betting or his usool is life and how he has ducked death with his phucking luck.
Lakhan Tamang (Danny Dengzonpa) is Moussa’s drop dead serious sidekick who scouts for similar people who are born with their doggy luck but stuck due to lack of buck. He also disburses easy to understand wisdom for lucky brat Ram Mehra (Imran Khan) who is clueless about his repaying his dead father’s Rs Twenty crores of scam, but concerned about his mother’s (Rati Agnihotri) blood pressure.
Major Jhawar Paratap Singh (Mithun Chakraborty) a retired army man is determined to save his ailing wife (Roopa Ganguly, bedridden and convincingly frail) and needs big bucks for the operation. Once he is determined to participate in the game, he keeps asking people “Koi Shock?” Shock therapy indeed.
Then we have Raga Raghuvaran (Ravi Kishen) convict who’s set free because of a bad noose job, a tomboyish teenager camel jockey from Pakistan called Shortcut (Chitrashi Rawat- vainsh ki poonch wali from Chak De), Ayesha (Shruti Haasan) all of them, hand picked by Tamang for the deadly game to be played on Cape Town.
So this diverse crew collated alongwith few other deathproof players around the world are then airlifted, hummered, soaked, thrown and shot during the Russian roulette (or is it a Mexican standoff), cage of death and monkeys on a train games in Cape Town.
Shruti Hassan flaunts her debut in a bikini while Ravi Kissen flirts with her by the pool. I found the forlorn damsel no better than yesteryears Sonali Bendre, till such time she did not open her mouth, When she did, Sonali Bendre scored better. Another introduction was Snita Mahey who looked like Neha Dhupia wearing a defective Angelina Jolie mask and probably thus named Angela.
As the movie is based on people’s luck, every chance of showcasing extraordinary and unique symbolism was utilized at the slightest pretext. Sanjay Dutt moves around in much superiority and slow motion (against strong breeze which generates from his behind), with a team of white men in Matrix garb, who serves him coffee and generally walks beside him. Chitrashi Rawat does a catwalk with hunky black men double her size with larger than life attitude. The gambling den owner Swami (Kota Srinivasa Rao) laughs like a malfunctioning exhaust fan. Shruti Hassan shows her potential to be the next zeroine. Imran gets to retain a three day stubble to look rough. Mithun checks the voice clarity of a mobile phone by listening to Rupa’s breathing. Ravi Kissen Successfully portrays a psycho by stalking Shruti and impresses Kamal Hassan. Danny is probably the sanest character with not much idiosyncrasies. Bad luck indeed.
Honestly, the first half of the movie is taut with the production quality no less than any Hollywood action flick. But post interval the typical Hindi cinema masalas starts pouring in- emotion, drama, sentiment, identical twins, love triangle, rape attempt and sanity and logic runs out of luck. The buck stops there and the audience are stuck in the muck of entertainment like a hawai chappal. Tagore once wrote something about getting gems out of ash, if you are willing to dig into ash. What he failed to envision is it might hold equally good for guns and sands as well. Hail Soham Shah. Hail Marijuana.
Well, the twists in the plot are too predictable for the audience grown up with 80′ and 90’s hindi movie clichés and the climax suspense as ‘nothing new’ for who has read the case of Sajarur Kanta of Byomkesh Bakshi ( written by Sharadindu bandopadhyay)
Overall, Luck is just another style over content hangover of a (jack)pot smoking binge.
What the phuck, duck this Luck to save your buck.