On a train journey in Warsaw, psychiatrist Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez) meets Himanshu (Randeep Hooda), who is a police officer from India to discuss their prospective marriage. Both are reluctant to enter into an arranged union but become friends and strike a deep conversation where Shaina reveals her previous relationship with the eccentric Devi (Salman Khan), a man who lived only for his ‘kick’ aka an adrenaline rush . Despite his idiosyncrasies they embark on a whirlwind romance, until one day he breaks up with her for a new ‘kick’ and walks away never to return. Himanshu in turn regales her with his glorious escapades as an officer but mentions that he has finally met his match, an intelligent thief. What they are both unaware of is that their stories have one thing in common, Devi. He returns to their lives under the pretext of having lost his memory. Behind it all, is a deeper mystery and an uncompromising mission for which Devi is ready to lose his life…
As a tribute to his hugely popular screen avatar Chulbul Pandey, there is a scene where an extra sees Salman Khan’s Devi as the super cop from the Dabangg series instead – moustache, sun glasses, poker face. They banter for a line or two, and then we cut back to his actual character from Kick. Only, for split second before the cut, you see Salman in Devi’s clothes and getup, but with the moustache from the previous seen. It’s a blink and miss moment. That this made it to the final cut sums up what Kick represents – an amateur, even inept attempt at making a film. What hurts is that many tens of crores were spent in this attempt.
Not this is a surprise. Salman Khan films don’t need a director, and with Kick that’s actually the case, as erstwhile producer Sajid Nadiadwala decides to make his directorial debut with this film. With the not so notable exception of Dabangg and Ek Tha Tiger, each of Salman’s last six 100 cr blockbusters have been slipshod productions, caring for nothing for script or story, and interested solely in showcasing his persona. Salman himself makes little effort to play a specific character, and could easily walk in a scene from one film, and walk out of a scene from another. Kick is no different.
The basic idea of a character doing everything in the film for an adrenalin rush is childishly naïve, and no further comment on the narrative is possible once this is established. The dialogue by Rajat Arora falls flat with Salman on most occasions, and works best with the character roles instead (especially Sanjay Mishra in an all to brief but delightful cameo). Nawazuddin takes the ham route to villiandom, but he is the right amount of campy and it works. The regressive treatment of female characters continue with Jacqueline’s thinly scripted role.
Technically, the only element that stands out is the photography. Ayananka Bose’s frames are beautiful to look at, though conventionally shot, but possibly he is not to blame. They provide some character to an otherwise droll film.
As critics are now familiar it, there’s no point lamenting. It’s Eid, it’s a Salman Khan film, so chances are it’s already a blockbuster. But I suggest you watch Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel this weekend, and give Kick a miss.
Hindi, Action, Color