Saturday, December 10, 2011

Force – Leaves No Impact

When I watched Gautham Menon’s “Kaakha Kaakha” on the local cable network eight years ago, I was blown away inspite of that scene which seemed to have been “inspired” from Se7en, and that song picturisation starring Ramya Krishnan which “coincidentally” resembled Madonna’s “Die Another Day”, and a menacing Mumbai-returned Madraasi gangster named “Pandia” who abuses in Hindi with a heavy Tamil accent just to show that he is a Mumbai-returned dreaded gangster. Inspite of these little nagging issues Kaakha Kaakha was simple, stylish, slick and very gritty–something which cannot be said of its Bollywood version “Force”.

“Force” is the result of what would have happened if Barbie doll was kidnapped by Mojo Jojo and her boyfriend Ken went on a mission to hunt him down and win her back. Yes, the characters are that artificial, albeit one. Nishikanth Kamath who had directed the acclaimed “Dombivili Fast” in Marathi (Inspired from the Michael Douglas starrer “Falling Down”), and its gripping Tamil version “Evano Oruvan” this time has attempted to make a masala entertainer, within the first few minutes as the story unfolds you realize that this was a bad move.  John Abraham is Yashwardhan, a beefed-up heavily tattooed undercover narcotics cop posing as a drug peddler (the tattoo affirms his bad-assery and the fact that drug peddlers are cooler than regular people) who keeps to himself because the nature of his job does not allow him to mingle with women for they may end up on the wrong side of the gun. During one of his pummeling sessions with a few goons he catches the eye of the ebullient, chirpy and oh-so-irritating-that-she-makes-you-wanna-choke-her-to-death Maya, an NGO worker played by Genelia D’souza –who has won the copyrights to play all bubbly characters portrayed in Bollywood. Her enthusiasm towards life, love and having a jolly good time can make Santa Claus look as depressing as your high school math teacher.

Like how all love stories begin when the hero sets his eyes on the heroine, our hero too while beating up the goon pauses whilst the camera in slow motion shows him dreamy-eyed and wooden faced looking towards Maya who is clearly shocked to see the savagery of our hero. Add to it a woman in the background singing “aaahhh ahhh ahhh” (like an Opera singer) and what you would have witnessed is how all men fall in love with the woman for the first time. Everything happens in slow motion. Our lady is clearly not impressed with the hero’s violent nature, and dislikes him. Indian cinema has always been dependent on chance encounters and on the adage that “The world is a small place”, and with a few chance encounters and other incidents Maya gets to know the true nature of Yashwardhan and on why he prefers to live alone and unattached. But naturally, when an expressionless man and a woman who has got too many expressions meet love is bound to happen.  And fall in love do they when in one scene Maya borrows lines from trashy romance novels about making love and growing old and dying in her beloved’s arms, listening to which Yashwardhan subsequently professes his love towards her.

What they are not aware of is the danger in the form of Vishnu (Vidyut Jamval) lurking in the corner, a ruthless, lean, mean, parkour-skilled gangster who is baying for the blood of Yashwardhan and his task force who had gunned down his brother Reddy. Vidyut Jamval as Vishnu is the only watchable character in the film who gets your attention every time he is on screen. With good looks and an intimidating screen presence Vidyut Jamval steals the thunder from John Abraham, whose role even Johnny Bravo would have excelled–atleast that cartoon character twitches his eyebrows, which John Abraham seems to be incapable of.

How Vishnu exacts his revenge on Yashwardhan and his team, with Yashwardhan in pursuit to save the kidnapped Maya from Vishnu forms rest of the story. In Vishnu, Yashwardhan finds a clean-shaven (a far cry from the days of Sathya’s unkempt Bhiku Mhatre), lithe, ruthless chocolate boy gangster who masterminds the uprising of his elder brother’s gang in Mumbai’s drug cartel, a man with such gymnastic abilities that he beats the shit out of a dozen armed drug dealers in Mombasa, someone who does not hesitate to pull the trigger to prove a point. Sadly, Vishnu is the only strongly written character in the film. For a movie titled “Force” it has the mass in John Abraham’s heavily-built body and the acceleration in a racy narrative, yet it completely loses the direction on where it is going and ends up being all over the place.

For the love of God! Stop the madness!!

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