Cinema

Force 2: Do not put the thinking cap on!

At times, while watching a film, you don’t quite engage with what’s happening on screen but keep wondering about what would have gone behind setting up a particular scene. So, in Force 2, instead focusing on the efforts put in by cop Yash (John Abraham) and RAW agent Kamaljeet Kaur aka KK (Sonakshi Sinha) in nabbing the bad guy Shiv (Tahir Bhasin) at an economic summit in Budapest, I wanted to know how Shiv managed to breach the security so easily and reach there in the first place. That too not alone but with an army of bad men behind him. Wouldn’t the modus operandi of this infiltration have made an infinitely better story than the infantile pursuit that unfolds over two hours on screen?

But Abhinay Deo doesn’t want us to put the thinking cap on. He just wants to please us with long chases and car crashes, bullets and blood, the views of Chain Bridge and Hero’s Square in Budapest. However, the supposedly slick action is not enough for a willing suspension of disbelief. Instead of diverting our attention, it draws it even more to the inane, tired and utterly random story-telling about some RAW agents copping it in China and the one to terminate them stationed in the Indian embassy in Budapest. Needless to say our cop and the agent are on a mission to find him after being successful in deciphering some hidden message in a book. In the course of this hunt, among other things, they keep having face offs with some mock-sinister Chinese baddies and even come across a Hungarian femme fatale who performs item number to Kate nahin kat-te remix in the videshi bar.

It gets worse. The film tries to do lip-service to the feminist cause, with some righteous dialogue about women’s capabilities and by making the heroine wear formal trouser and shirt but ends up presenting her as an utterly inept agent, one who is either off the mark or hides behind her male colleague (who, incidentally, is always right). The twist in tale is as dubious as the film’s feminism, in how it conveniently aligns with the patriotic mood of the moment. But it still doesn’t thaw a hard-hearted viewer like yours truly.

Abraham reprises the dour ACP Yashvardhan with a suitable singularity of expression. I only hope it doesn’t get mistaken for intensity. He also manages to hang on rather well to a towel perched precariously on his mid-riff (for knowing more about the towel, see the movie). Meanwhile, Sinha looks completely clueless, as though she walked into a wrong film set. It’s left entirely up to Bhasin then to hold our interest with his blabbering, psychological games and mouth organ. He, at times, overcompensates for the po-faced leads but largely manages to hold some amount of interest even if his character itself seems like a long lost twin of the evil avatar he played in Mardani. Time, for a talented actor like him, to move on, before the supposed charisma turns into a worn-out cliché.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 5:42:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Force-2-Do-not-put-the-thinking-cap-on/article16667483.ece

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