Friday, August 29, 2014

Raja Natwarlal

Rating : 4/10
Release Date : 29th August, 2014
Time : 141 minutes
Director: Kunal Deshmukh; Writer : Sanjay Masoom; Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Starring : Emraan Hashmi, Humaima Malick, Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon, Deepak Tijori

A good Indian con film needs several ingredients to make it work, none of which are found in this one. Neither a strong lead pair (Emraan is ok while Humaima looks decent but is otherwise wooden), nor an unrelenting pace (broken up by mushiness, many lip locks – its an Emraan Hashmi film after all - and many extremely average songs), or a great con…in this day and age, its rather hard to believe what transpired is actually possible, even though with their last explanation they did move the needle from ludicrous to unbelievably far fetched.

Emraan, a small time con artist, and his partner in crime / mentor, Deepak Tijori, go for the big one but steal from the wrong man. Kay Kay Menon. A Cape Town based Mafioso. Emraan now is on the run but seeking revenge. And enlists the help of another con artist, Paresh Rawal. They decide to prey on Kay Kay’s love for all things cricket to lure him in. What transpires has to be seen to be believed…or in this case, not believed…

Emraan’s love interest, Humaima, a dancer at a dance bar also, some corrupt cops, who want a piece of the action and Zeeshan Ayyub, a hired gun, are all the other pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that never truly comes together. Actually, apart from Deepak’s brief cameo, nothing in this film really rings true – everything somehow strikes a false note. From Paresh Rawal’s retired conman, to Emraan’s desire for revenge, Humaima’s anger at what Emraan does and even the whole con set up. In this day and age, there are not less than fifty loopholes, which anyone with half a brain and an internet connection couldn’t have seen through.

The pace drags too, the film being at least 30-40 minutes too long with the unnecessary, contrived songs and emotional drama, seen as so critical to the masala our films are expected to have, taking their toll here. The humour quotient is also missing, so critical to a good con movie (Oceans Eleven, Khosla Ka Ghosla, to point out two very different con films). So in the end you’re left with a rather lame film, which limps through to a finale which, even though its unexpected, fails to rescue the previous two hours…the con, unfortunately on this holiday weekend, seems to be on us !

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