Friday, October 03, 2008

Not just kids, all of us had a nap

Movie review for the film "Kidnap"

First a couple of words about the new Inox Jayanagar where we saw this film. Bad cramped parking, very small elevators and insipid popcorn. Avoid.

Now for the most awaited movie of the season. After Jaane Tu.. and Bachna... the expectations from an Imran-Minnisha film were sky high. Sanju baba, of course, is all-time dependable. Gadhvi has done some good work in the past-- stylish if not sensible. So we decided to fork over the weekend premium (250 bucks a ticket, including popcorn!) without waiting for reviews.

Bad idea. Gadhvi decided to follow, again, the all-style no-soul route.

**** May contain spoilers ****

The film starts with the dialogue "Maine tumhe kidnap kiya hai" which made the audience erupt in laughter. Not an auspicious beginning for an alleged edge-of-seat-thriller. We decided to give Imran time to find his bearings. Unfortunately, the dialogues kept getting more mundane from then on. It competes with Sarkar 2 for the year’s dullest dialogues. (We so hope Sanjoy watches this movie, he can do another killer review!!)

Vidya Malavade, the hot babe from Chak De, plays Minissha Lamba’s mom in this one!! The casting director must be on drugs. Sadly, this may end Vidya’s career, though Lamba looks way older than her. Lamba, on the other hand, is on a mission to establish a sexy image. She appears extremely uncomfortable in near-nothings-- not just in songs but even when she is supposedly in captivity. The costume designer was definitely high. She fails to realise that sexuality is not just in boob-shows but comes as a package-- the facial expression, the body language and the come-hither eyes. There was none. She looks as arousing as the mannequin being changed in a shop window. She tries too hard and wastes the goodwill created by the Bachna... role. Plus the fact that even though her role is pivotal, she hardly has anything to do except mouth dialogues fit for a 7 year old and remain undressed.

The acting by Imran Khan is first rate again and I do hope to see him bag the Oscars one day, in footsteps of his uncle. He is a sincere and fiery actor lost in an oddball script. Sadly, the screenplay is so awkward that his intense dialogues appear comical. Whoever in the audience was not sleeping was busy hooting in amusement...

He did have a fun chase scene. Outrageous but well executed stunts. The only highlight of the movie, IMHO. Reminded one of Jackie Chan, wish they kept that tone for the entire film. Sigh!

Now for my main problems with "Kidnap". Firstly, the revenge motive is thrust down your throat. The plot is as dark as "Zinda", yet the movie maintains a candy-floss feel throughout. You can easily foresee that every character is inherently good and every one had their "majboori". Ergo, everyone forgives everyone and lives happily ever after. For the hate that Imran’s character carries for Sanjay Dutt’s character, the latter should have been shown more as the "Dilip Tahil" variety. A typical rich, arrogant and ruthless person. The audience must also feel some of the hate. Yet, we always see him in a sympathetic light, we root for him. That makes the revenge hard to digest. Similarly, Imran’s character should have been a twisted freak but he appears sad, almost as if he’d stop the revenge if someone said Sorry to him just once. He’s a frustratingly good boy, performing evil actions. While that syncs with his character, it jars with the plot.

Secondly, it has some gruesome songs. Picturised badly, appear illogically and sound terrible. They completely halt the narrative and everyone looks so uncomfortable even doing them. Lyrics like "Mausam kya Awesome hai". Yikes! Sound engineering is quite good, on the other hand. The scene where Imran brings back Minissha after her escape attempt has fabulous background sounds.

Lastly, the climax, like most Bollywood films of late whimpers down after a cool build-up. Somehow our directors start to copy their latest DVD purchase, perhaps Richard Shepard’s 1995 flop Mercy in this case, but don’t have the patience to watch till the end. Or in some cases, like in Zinda, they are unable to stay faithful to the climax for cultural reasons.

Kidnap belongs to the "Anjaam" genre. It is so bad, it finds a cult following. It is a great movie to watch with a large group of friend, hooting and whistling. Just make sure you don’t pay attention to the screen, else you will end up with a power-nap.