|Imran Khan, Minissha Lamba and Sanjay Dutt|
Sonia gets kidnapped by a mysterious man called Kabir (Imran) who start calling up Raina, giving him inane clues to get to her. The clues are of the riddle-like akkad bakkad, eena meena variety. We trail the film thereon, a day at a time. This situation is perfect for a taut thriller and has lots of scope for emotional drama to be interwoven. But here, you donít feel much. The twists and turns are so predictable, youíre actually surprised you guess them all correctly. Meanwhile, Sophie Chowdry in an itsy-bitsy number performs a song.
Over there, at the kidnapperís, Sonia is perplexed at being held hostage and tries several times, in vain, to escape. Yaaawn! The menacing kidnapper catches a glimpse or two down her cleavage and she then tries seducing him, another song. He attempts raping her, but the good hero that he is, doesnít. Meanwhile the silly game continues with more clues, and youíre not for a second intrigued.
Kabirís intention is to get Raina in trouble and makes him do illegal things like robbing his business rival and even helping a convict escape. To do his bidding, Raina is in and out of costumes; heís a police officer in one scene and a firefighter in the next one. Mama Mallika dons an evening dress and gatecrashes into a jail claiming to be a human rights activist. After the fancy dress parade is done with, weíre revealed the reason behindís Kabirís revenge. A back-story thatís intended to create sympathy for Kabir, but leaves you unfeeling. Only for Imran Khanís sexy solo song thatís saved for the credits, itís somewhat worth staying till the end.
The action sequence between Imran Khan and Sanjay Dutt is extremely well-executed and entertaining. Cinematography is competent. Editing is lax and could have easily done away with extraneous scenes. Ditto screenplay that has allowed a lot of repetitive dialogues and situations in the film.
Imran Khan as the sometimes weak-sometimes ruthless criminal is superb. Heís perfectly cast, for despite the characterís dark streak, Imran makes it impossible to dislike Kabir. Minisshaís transformation is eye-pooping. Sheís not the over-toned, model-like beauty with dramatic eyes and a pout. Here, she dons a more fresh-faced, sensual kind of look that suits her well. Sanjay Dutt impresses in his role as a father battling difficult emotions and having to think on his feet. Vidya Malavade does well.
Director Sanjay Gadhvi must concede that his two super-successes Dhoom and Dhoom:2 bring with it a cauldron of expectations. The main flaw with Kidnap is its failure to convince us of the said situation. In the thriller genre, itís essential that a film inspire viewers to put themselves in a similar situation; thatís what elicits the edge-of-the-seat response. Without that quality, you just sit through the film with a mechanical daze until the popcornís over and the film too.
Verdict: Two stars