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Why is this spoof dead serious?

sudhish kamath
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hardly a thriller Game
hardly a thriller Game

A bout 30 minutes into the film, when Anupam Kher sinisterly says, “And the Game begins,” you do want to kill him. So it's no surprise that somebody beats you to it because nothing can bring that wasted half an hour of your life back. Director Abhinay Deo seems to be nursing a bad hangover of watching the entire Bourne series back-to-back while listening to Hans Zimmer's Inception score and fumbling through the last few pages of an Agatha Christie novel, all at the same time.

Not blessed with a single original idea or a decent screenwriter, Abhinay Deo tosses up all these elements — the sights, sounds and thoughts of his all-night marathon — and pitches it to Farhan Akhtar whose fertile imagination probably saw the delicious potential (Akhtar has also written the dialogues for this film) to produce this film.

Loosely adapted from And Then There Were None / A Study in Scarlet and scores of Hindi and Tamil films for the dramatic surprise revelation of the hero's true identity before the end, this suspense thriller is as exciting as making up a limerick that should rhyme with Game because all those words that have just come to your mind are the obvious ones to describe the film — Tame, Lame, Shame.

Mounting a film on an international canvas that spans Greece, Thailand, Mumbai, London and Istanbul alone does not make its leading man James Bond, Jason Bourne or Ethan Hunt even if you make him run through the rooftops. This Mission Implausible is a Ha-Ha-He-He-Hu-Whodunnit that has you in splits for most of its running time with a London-based investigating agency called International Vigilance Squad whose face is Kangna Ranaut (maybe because she's known for her impeccable English. Gotcha! April Fool.)

When she says ‘Billiyan doler,' you half expect Dr. Evil to lift his little finger to his mouth and show up stroking a cat with Mini Me tugging at his trousers. Unfortunately, Game is not unintentionally spoofy enough to be Austin Powers either.

But there must be an audience for this kind of film. The ones who made Race a raging hit. The ones who convinced producers that Vivek Oberoi, smiling at the camera, saying: “It's Showtime” will bring in millions.

Before the interval, when Abhishek Bachchan ominously says: “It's not over,” with half the film still to go, you know who the titular Game is. You.

Anyone who went to watch the film after reading the film's tag line deserves the treatment. “It's not over till you are over.” Or something like that.

sudhish kamath

Game Genre: Action Director: Abhinay Deo Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Jimmy Shergill, Kangna Ranaut, Boman Irani, Shahana Goswami, Anupam Kher Storyline: A billionaire brings four influential people to his island in Greece to avenge his daughter's death but is found dead the very next morning Bottomline: If you liked Race, play this Game


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