Ok, this keeps happening in Bollywood from time-to-time. Yet another producer launches his buffed-up son in a movie.
Well-known writer-producer-director Suneel Darshan (of Andaaz, Jaanwar, Barsaat and Dosti fame) launches son Shiv with this film.
Shiv Darshan is (really) tall, has a gym body, and can dance without tripping. That's about the positive things one can think up about this enthusiastic debutant.
Other than that, it's an embarrassingly bad debut. From playing a character that required a younger actor (college fresher), to grinning where he should have been intense, or growling his dialogue when angry – it’s absolutely cringe-worthy.
That everyone else in the cast possesses more screen presence and acting chops doesn't help his case (since the intent appears solely to launch him as hero).
And in this desperate showcasing, the makers sometimes make a faux-pas. Like showing a supposedly sexy slow-mo shot of him pouring water on himself. Thing is, it sticks out as comedy, because he just escaped a fatal attack. Or putting him in the tiniest and most colourful swimming briefs ever in the history of Bollywood, while the heroine prances about in her designer swimwear. Thing is, they’re near a forest water-body, not a pool, and so the scene is again awkward.
Another thing that doesn't help is his weird characterization. In order to win over his childhood sweetheart he keeps stalking her asking for a 'lap dance' or wringing her arm.
No wonder she calls him a psycho. Of course, in the misogynistic ways of Bollywood, she shyly smiles and relents soon after.
Indeed this character (and the way it’s been performed) is the film’s biggest undoing. Former beauty queen Hasleen Kaur fares better with her spunky screen presence and clear dialogue delivery.
Debut director Rajesh Pandey makes a film that would have been outdated even ten years ago. The film trails a typical story with the love triangle and a menacing villain. But the core that the two characters either fight with each other or with destiny had potential.
The film’s tagline ‘Game On’ hence refers to their risk-taking spirit. Too bad this angle hasn’t been explored effectively.
The fancy styling, nice songs, flashy music videos and glamour are there. But that's about it. Background score is incongruous, like in that terrible violent scene where someone's hand is being chopped off.
Skin show is insinuated in juvenile situations like a woman doing a lap dance for the hero in exchange for blood donation! The heroine (referred to as “college ki best girl”) roams around the college in towering heels and leather minis.
The dialogue is spectacularly insipid. "Akkal baadam khaane se nahin, thokar khaane se aati hai," is one gem. And then there are the lame retorts that the central character tries passing off as smart-alecky.
Fittingly ironic is Shiv's character saying sarcastically to his friends, "Yea, that's real original!" Enough said.
Rating: One star