Too Loud, Too Long And Too Melodramatic
To Be Anything More Than Mildly Interesting.
An eye for an eye to get the corrupt politicians to own up to their mistakes, is a great idea. And we don’t doubt that Irrfan Khan is able to carry the movie on his shoulders alone. But once you know the ‘eye for an eye’ motive, the thrill wears off and you labor through the how is he going to get caught by the police. It’s too long, too loud and too melodramatic. Watch only for Irrfan Khan.
If you’ve watched the trailer, they gave away the plot: Will Minister sahab ka beta be treated like a joota banane wale ka beta?
So you know it’s a kidnap drama because they show it in the trailer. The first half goes in showing an unkempt Irrfan Khan keeping an eye on the home minister’s kid who runs out of the boarding school every night to savor street food in Dehradun. Then Irrfan Khan kidnaps the home minister’s kid and throws the system in chaos. The system depends on the skills of a police officer Nachiket (Jimmy Shergill in a role he has played many many times), and even though Nachiket is right, he has to fight self-promoting individuals - politicians as well as security services - to help find the boy.
It is clear that Irrfan Khan has not thought the kidnapping through because we the audience are subjected to him dragging a reluctant kid in bus journeys, and train journeys and truck journeys and by foot… We meander everywhere as aimlessly as the duo and even though to sympathise with Irrfan Khan’s loss, you fast lose empathy. Where is the movie going?
Now don’t get me wrong, Irrfan Khan is a good actor and the one scene where is sitting at the hospital when the child is being treated for food poisoning, and another hospital scene after he discovers that his own child is dead are award worthy and a star each have been given in this review just for these two scenes.
But how long can you watch him change clothes, journey with the kid, move from one place to another while the helpless cops say, ‘He is moving from one place to another which makes it difficult for us to catch him.’
And when you see this for most of the film, your mind starts wandering into the funny zone. How come he has internet in the middle of the desert? Forwarded Whatsapp jokes crowd your head that maybe the service providers have a limp net service and reach in the cities, but in remote places the Airtel girl finds net connection! You smile at the thought of Irrfan being the Airtel girl, and then the smile vanishes.
The predictable end (which repeats the footage borrowed from all the protest marches you have seen on TV) shows corrupt politicians to be spineless and admitting rather quickly to, ‘Yes, I have taken bribes and will continue to take bribes…’ you just want the movie to end. The background score which was decent in the beginning has become so loud you wish you had ear-plugs, the dialog becomes so bombastic and preachy you want to say, you’re telling us nothing news about corruption, so stop going on and on and on…
Had this movie been short and succinct, the rating would have been through the roof. The child actor does a decent job and Irrfan is good too when he’s not hamming the ‘I’ve been wronged!’ part. The movie is average because there is nothing subtle and instead of coming away with any hope for change, you come away as if you have been attacked by a sledgehammer for almost three hours.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)