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Prince review: It's a royal mess!

Prince review: It's a royal mess!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 9 April 2010

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Movie Title

Prince

Director

Kookie V Gulati

Star Cast

Vivek Oberoi, Aruna Shields, Nandana Sen, Neeru Singh, Dalip Tahil and Sanjay Kapoor

It's that kind of a movie; where the hero ? a mix of James Bond (the gadgets) and Spiderman (swinging from ropes) ? is named Prince and the retro-style villain ? with flowing hair and a metallic hand ? is called Sarang. This is also the kind of picture where, in South Africa, everyone from the hero to the baddie to the bartender is Indian and speaks only in Hindi.

Prince's character is inspired by countless others (like Dhoom 2's A) where the central protagonist is a glorified thief, described several times as a chalaak and shaatir chor.

One morning this character does a Ghajini and wakes up with zero memory. He understands that Sarang, described as 'the world's biggest white-collar criminal', is after an antique coin. Prince now has to find this coin the whereabouts of which he can't recollect.

Meanwhile, three women claim to be his girlfriend Maya, each with a different version of his past. Like in Race (Shiraz Ahmed has written both the films), there are silly twists along the way. There is a raunchy item song in Hindi in a nightclub. We get to know that the coin has mythological connections, been taken from Raavan's rath and all, and has magical powers. That's never explored because the focus shifts to a chip that could turn out to be a national security threat.

The story follows a predictable pattern, finally flowing into the elongated finale with the essential hero-villain combat.

For most part, our superhero of sorts maintains a quizzical expression. This is an interesting departure from other alpha-heroes who know just what to do and when. Here, he's often led than leading, and the filmmakers seem to want to experiment with the concept of the unshakable action hero. Sadly, even the vulnerability doesn't come through, and you don't empathize with the character and his conflict.

There are portions that crack you up unintentionally: in describing how dangerous the crime boss is, we are shown a scene where he takes his enemy on a plane ride, then jumps off, and blows up the entire plane! He then clumsily opens the parachute, holding on for dear life, and lands on a boat. Would have been easier the other way around, one reckons.

Also, all the characters wear black leather, gloves and shades in daylight. Super-secret info is sourced by googling; safes are opened by plastic clips. Before jumping off mountains and buildings, Prince croons his favourite dialogue: 'It's Showtime'.

The music blares non-stop playing the signature tune whenever the hero is in midst of a designer stunt. Debut director Kookie V Gulati's attempt to add special effects (giant screens, gizmos and gadgets) to spice up the story works only to an extent. Those familiar with English films (Mission Impossible, Matrix, the Bourne Series, Minority Report) have seen all this and more a long time ago.

The hero and villain ? the two central characters are terribly boring. Vivek Oberoi has given far more impassioned performances earlier; here's he's damp squib. Isaiah who plays Sarang is bland too, bringing out none of the edginess of a good villain.

That leaves the three leading ladies to steal the show, which they do. Go for it if the appeal and screen presence of the leading ladies and a couple of neat stunts (Allan Amin) is good enough for you.

Somewhere during the film, a character says to media persons, 'why are you glorifying him (Prince). He's a robber, not God'. With the film showing the criminals walking around in slow-mo, a girl on each arm, driving in luxurious cars, owning homes in the most exotic locations, the irony is indeed amusing. Verdict: Two stars

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