Taken from Hollywood’s 2006 psychological crime-thriller Unknown, Acid Factory too begins with the protagonists trapped in a chemical factory.
Admittedly, the plot arouses interest: you have six people trapped in an acid factory, and here's the best part—they don’t remember a thing.
Suffering from temporary amnesia, all six have forgotten their identities and how they got there. They get their clues from phone calls made by a mob boss (Irrfan Khan) and wonder who among them is their friend or the foe.
A cop (Gulshan Grover) is following Irrfan Khan’s lead and keeps losing trails blaming the criminals for being "bloody clever or bloody smart" without admitting he's bloody dumb.
The film then takes the predictable course – the six understand that a kidnapping has happened and try identifying the kidnappers from the hostages. This is the most interesting portion in the film that you wish was further exploited.
Had the makers delved into the suspicions, insecurities and hapless condition of the protagonists, the film could've made for a gripping brain-teaser.
Meanwhile, a hundred chases happen, cars get blown up, and people get killed. The ending gets wrapped up all too abruptly even delicately hinting at a sequel.
In true-blue Sanjay Gupta style, there's an item song that borders on soft porn, and the world of crime is portrayed as being inhabited by beautiful, rich, quirky people who travel in limousines and dress sharp.
Stunts, chases and fights take over the better part of the film. Also like in many Hindi films based abroad, all the protagonists are Indian right from the crime boss to the cop honcho.
The cast does exceedingly well. Manoj Bajpai adds humour as the eccentric but dangerous wheeler-dealer; Irrfan Khan makes for a spiffy crime lord; and Dino Morea is great fun as the wise-cracking loudmouth.
Dia Mirza, the only lady among the lads, acts her part perfectly even excelling in the stunts that one hears she performed herself.
Danny Denzongpa is dependably good. In the central roles, Fardeen Khan and Aftab Shivadasani are fairly good, though the rest of the cast proves to be the scene-stealers.
Music credited to five composers (Shamir Tandon, Manasi Scott, Gourov Dasgupta Bappa Lahiri, Ranjit Barot) is interesting and the background score is trippy fun. Technically the film is adept right from the action (Tinu Verma), editing (Bunty Nagi) to the sound (Resul Pookutty) and styling (Shantanu, Nikhil, Shaheed Aamir).
Director Suparn Varma (scriptwriter of films like Ugly Aur Pagli, Janasheen and Qayamat) had earlier made Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena in 2005. In Acid Factory, he attempts to add his own inputs while retaining the Sanjay Gupta approach of storytelling. To an extent, Acid Factory works as a gimmicky thriller but loses direction once the novelty wears off.
Verdict: Two-and-a-half stars