Worth it?

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Much like actors who play exhibition matches that no one takes seriously and which are just a means of raising quick money, sportsmen do the odd exhibition movie.

In India, sportsman largely (and unfortunately) means cricketers, so we’ve seen everyone from Sunil Gavaskar to Salil Ankola, Ajay Jadeja to Angad Bedi flex their non-existent acting muscle. Even Vinod Kambli gave it a shot (let’s hope his good friend Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t succumb as well). All of them, save Ankola, were one-film disasters.

Now comes the next hopeful: tennis champ Leander Paes playing a terrorist, no less, in Rajdhani Express . Paes’ character is travelling with a disparate group of passengers on the Rajdhani express, when he finds himself in a spot and is forced to use his gun. Much shooting and fire-power ensues when the police, headed by a cop played by Jimmy Shergill, get on their case. The politicians and the media can’t be far behind of course. There is talk of justice, we the people and breaking news, so you know which way this movie is headed.

Debutant director Ashok Kohli has enthusiastically done the dialogue, screenplay and choreography for this movie.

Our sources tell us Paes has been trying to land a role in Bollywood for quite some years now. He has also declared he’s in it for the long haul. On the evidence so far, there seems to be little to justify his acting urge, though of course, we could be quite wrong. Only one way to find out, if you care.


Rajdhani Express

Cast:Leander Paes, Jimmy Shergill, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sudhanshu Pandey, Sayali Bhagat, Mukesh Rishi

Director:Ashok Kohli

Releases:January 4, 2013

Bottomline:On the evidence so far, there seems to be little to justify Paes’ acting urge. Of

course, we could be quite wrong.



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