When a family of ten including six noisy children got into the theatre, talking and scrambling around for popcorn, we rolled our eyes preparing for the most annoying movie-watching experience. After “Sssssh”ing them around, we soon realised that they weren't the villains, they were victims of Maximum boredom, having spent at least a thousand rupees to watch a film where nothing happens. Till the very end.

The idea must have sounded great on paper. To build up a narrative where the tension between two power-hungry crooked encounter cops keeps rising and culminates in one explosive blood bath of a finale.

So, director Kabeer Kaushik saves up the bullets. Every time there's supposed to be an encounter or killing, he desists from showing it, to keep it classy.

So everything's implied and insinuated as the brooding camera attempts to create a moody character study of the two cops in the picture, punctuating every dialogue heavy scene with cops walking towards each other in slow-motion as the body count keeps increasing throughout.

This is clearly a Ram Gopal Varma inspired film — it tries to evoke the gritty smartness of Ab Tak Chappan with intentions of telling us a Company like story within the police department. Yes, this is Department shot well minus the energy.

We have to blame the dialogues and lack of clear and present danger for this. But then, the makers are too scared to keep things classy all through. So they thrust in quite a bit of cleavage, item numbers in shady dance bars and dirty jokes to compensate but with the proceedings spelt out largely through pretentious dialogue ranging from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to Shakespeare.

Sonu Sood and Naseeruddin Shah try their best to keep things real and Vinay Pathak chips in with an earnest performance too, but it says a lot about a cop film if the only burst of energy in the film comes from Hazel Keech dancing to ‘Aa Ante Amalapuram’.

There are a couple of gripping moments but they come in too late, way after our interest in the film is long dead. So we didn’t have to worry about the noisy kids in front of us… they slept like a baby through all that gun-fire.

Maximum

Genre: Drama

Director: Kabeer Kaushik

Cast: Sonu Sood, Naseeruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia, Mohan Agashe

Storyline: Two crooked encounter cops deal with betrayals and wrestle for power

Bottomline: Saves its bullets for the very end by which time we've already died of boredom