Saturday, March 22, 2008

Race Hindi movie : Movie Review

It looks like Race is going to be the one of the big hits of 2008. The latest thriller made by Bollywood thriller masters Abbas-Mustan’s is an A-class entertainer. Sexy women in short clothes, handsome hunks, beautiful locations, good stunts, lots of songs with catchy rhythm and loud music (except ‘Pehli Nazar Mein’) is a good definition of a masala flick. On an average, the reviewers gave the movie a rating of 2.5/3 in 5 and 7 in 10. The major allegation against the movie makers- the story and narration is not so edgy. The good things about the movie: Allan Amin’s stunt sequences, Saif Ali and Akshaye Khanna’s acting and Bipasha and Katrina’s sex appeal (the last one works for me very well :)

Ok, now let us look at the reviews. What they say about the movie.

Glamsham gives it a rating of 2.5. According to the review, Race repeats the step-bro angle of Raqueeb. Moreover, the story is confusing, when did Bipasha and Saif meet to hatch a plan? What is the significance of Katrina Kaif? The directors failed to give a convincing story. However, Allan Amin is the true hero of the movie. His stunt works are fabulous. Anil is playing a Xerox copy character of Karamchand. Saif has done a great job. The movie is worth a watch.

Movie Blog gives Race 7 out of 10.

The cinematography, locations and camerawork are great and the movie has a great suspense script to make audience stick to screens but in later stages the story gets too intermingled and audience get confused of what’s happening. The music of the movie matches the script and music depiction is well shot.

The performance of Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy is good. The movie may get good number of audience in metro and small cities where kids have completed their exams and are spending holidays.

According to Buzz 18, the promos of Race may make it look like Dhoom 2, there is not much action. Too much mind game in involved in the story. The story contains lots of twists and turns but at one point it becomes a major burden. The audience fails to connect the sub-plots stories.

The biggest plus point of Race is the fact that it is full of surprises. The screenplay packs in interesting twists and turns at regular intervals, keeping the shock value intact throughout the narrative. But beyond a point, this is the film's biggest undoing. In the second half the proceedings tend to get too confusing for the average viewer, as you find yourself trying to connect the various subplots. A chain of events involving betrayal, murder and double crossing becomes a case of too much of a good thing. But none of the characters make predictable moves and thankfully the mystery stays within the six leads. Unlike Sunday, 36 China Town and many other thrillers there are no unnecessary character actors.

Akshaye is Abbas-Mustan’s favorite antagonist and he plays his role effortlessly. Saif also gave a solid performance. Bipasha and Katrina do not have much to do except reacting to the actors’ actions and dialogues. They actually work like spice for the movies appearing in short dresses. Anil’s character is not so strong and Sameera’s portrayal of a brainless-bimbo does not add much to the comic element of the movie. Overall, the film is lavishly shot movie with lots of twists but lacks a good narrative and it is worth watching.

MusicNmovies gave a very positive review with a rating of 4 in 5. The review claims that the story of the movie is inspired from a 1998 Hollywood movie, Goodbye Lover. The review says that Race is a movie with style and substance.

Movietalkies also gives a positive review of Race. It says,

Abbas-Mustan live up to their reputation and Race turns out to be a typical film of theirs replete with intriguing twists and turns as the web of deceit seems to encompass all. Except perhaps for its length, the film turns out to be quite enjoyable. It is made all the more so by the presence of Saif Ali Khan, who stands tall over the rest of the film's cast.

Saif looks stunning in his rugged style. His performance throughout the movie was great. Akshaye Khanna also did a very good job but Anil does not add much to the comic element. Among the females Bipasha steals away most of the limelight. Katrina’s role neither have much presence in the movie, nor any significance.

Smashits review says,

Isn't the dialogue archaic and dull with outdated words like `galat fehmi' (misunderstanding) repeated throughout. Ravi Yadav's camera handling is good and occasionally interesting. Background music is reminiscent of Dhoom, and here too, the film's title is repeated in action sequences. Pritam's music is good with songs like Bin Tere Sanam and Allah Duhai. However, other songs lack his usual charm. Action sequences are not eye-popping as one would expect.

Like always, Allan Amin's action is good, but there's nothing new to offer here, except perhaps a few races in snazzy sports cars. Bipasha and Katrina have stolen the limelight in every way. ..... ’Race' provides it with the latest in glamour and sexy dialogue with its heroines always seen in short skirts and skintight shirts with first few buttons tantalizingly open! A critic has rightly suggested that the movie should have better been titled `Racy'.

Realbollywood dubs it a “Saif Ali Khan film” in terms of acting. It says

Directors Abbas and Mustan knew what they wanted to do with this film - give the viewers their money’s worth of thrills with an engaging plot, not a credible one.

They were not there to make a profound statement, only reiterate that Bollywood today can give audiences all the thrills that they have come to expect from Hollywood thrillers.

A stuntman from Australia who specializes in car chase and swivel was hired for the film. Not surprisingly Race is replete with car chases and crashes but we are not complaining.

However, Hindustantimes and Rediff came heavy-handed on the movie. Hindustan Times says:

Indeed, it would take super-brains — right from Aristotle and Plato to Amartya Sen — to decode Race, a crime-grime-adultery-disco-bomb-explosion thriller. Cars somersault, thud, bang and crash. A very hungry assassin, called Franco, looks as if he could do with potato mash. Meanwhile, the plot turns out to be a mega-rehash. Gnash.

So, what did you expect from conjoined directors Abbas-Mustan anyway? Their best work, alas, was their earliest, most notably Baazigar. Just compare the terrifying tumble-from-the-terrace killing there to the pure cornball skyscraper dive here. No fear, only jeers. Anything goes, explodes, whams, splatters in the name of MASS entertainment.

In the same condescending tone, Rediff writes:

Abbasbhai and Mustanbhai are veteran practitioners of the fatafat produced thriller, but this their biggest budget effort by far tries to be slick and stylish while actually trying to cling on to a plot. Therefore we have pointless, and constant, changes of direction to the story, at every given opportunity. There's nothing wrong with unpredictability, but it needs to be thought through. A-M bhailog, these many twists suit jalebiwallahs better than filmmakers.

I think these are enough to give you an idea about the movie. Now, it is upto you to decide whether you should go or not. Personally, I will definitely go, Why? It is a great entertainer. Such a lavishly shot movie can best be enjoyed in the theatres where you can feel the real effect of the stunts and bangs. Finally, for Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif, they look very very sexy on the screen. HELL with the story man. I just want to be entertained.


Jog Ratna said...

cool collection, you might be missing this one though ...

Anonymous said...

Another Lift Off !!

Race is actually lifted off a 1998 Roland Joffe film titled 'Goodbye Lover'. Except the lead actors' profession, the plot and twists seem to have been lifted quite literally! Way to go, folks!

Heres the trailer link for the original ::

Deejay T

flounder2008 said...

I just saw this film last night in the Los Angeles, CA area. I am an African American and I've been a Bollywood films for years since my days as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco in the mid-80s where Indian cinema was hugely popular. This film was remarkable to me because, set as it was in South Africa, it went out of its way to make it clear that Indian South Africans identify and associate with South Africans of European descent and that any black presence in the country is to be avoided at all costs. The film was clearly shot and cut (and I have some experience of working in the movie industry here in LA) to exclude blacks as much as possible and to allow them to be seen, if at all, only briefly, in non-speaking parts as dancers, drummers or menial workers ( e.g., two bank guards escorting Katrina Kaif's character to her car). Indeed, this film seems to long for the return of apartheid or argues that it still exists de facto. I guess I'd hoped for something more realistic in portraying, even in escapist fare like this, the Indian community in South Africa that ignited and nurtured the activist impulses of the young Mohandis K. Gandhi.

Sure enough, anyone who is even a casual observer of Bollywood fare is aware of its strict conventions regarding skin color as a mark of attractiveness, social status and character traits. But, for heaven's sake, this was excessive even for Bollywood. Yes, as one would expect, the most buffoonish character was the darkest Indian character in the film, the RSA government official in a Cape Town office consulted by the police detective character (and even he was not really dark skinned), but the to-be-expected, virtually-white stars of the film were carefully placed in situations at the racetrack, at parties, fashions shows, clubs and businesses where not a black face was to be seen, except in deep background. The scene with the government worker does feature a wall photo of what appears to be Nelson Mandela in the background almost out of the shot's frame. That's it for black folk! Would seeing a black business executive or a black person in a swim suit at the beach resort have been that repellant to the Indian mass audience? Maybe so, I don't know. Rich black South Africans do exist, I'm told! The directors certainly appeared to consider black people, even arguably rich ones, potential "mood breakers" for this action fantasy.

I guess I'd got my hopes up about the evolution of Bollywood by such recent releases as Chok De India and the film that's entitled in English translation, Every Child is Special, both of which I just loved. Also I've been a big fan of Mira Nair and Garinder Chada's (sp?) work: The Namesake, Bhaji at the Beach, Monsoon Wedding, Bride and Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham, Mississippi Masala, etc. Those films, while maybe not "pure" Bollywood fare, were thematically Indian at their cores and wonderfully realized stories that showed respect and even affection for people and cultures other than those of India, and especially those of other people of color including people of African descent.

Bollywood films are fun and almost always deliver as pure entertainment. That's why the Indian film industry is so successful worldwide. I don't ask it to do much else beyond that, but when it does, as in the examples I cited above, it's nice to see. But it needn't turn reactionary to create its fantasy tales. That's what it did with "Race," the title of which had an unfortunate double meaning I hadn't realized until I saw the film.

Nirosha said...

In reply to FLOUNDER's post:

What you said is true. I am an Indian and I notice everywhere I go(in India) that light skin is ALWAYS preferred over dark skin. It annoys me beyond all limits. I totally understand how you feel but I guess there's nothing much we can do about it. The media should do the job of educating people and bringing them to their senses. But, your post adequately describes how Bollywood serves to only strengthem such prejudistic ideas in Indian minds instead of doing something to blot them out.

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