The only things tezz about this wondrous piece of ‘storytelling with a social message’ is the speed with which the concept was conceived, the screenplay written, the pre-production done, the shooting schedule planned, the speed with which fees were transferred into the director and actor’s bank accounts, and the toy-train special effects.
As we know, such is the case with every Priyadarshan production. Using most of B-town’s rejects and ex-stars (Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy) in an alien environment filmed with Denzel Washington filters (cold blue), in order to convert the rest of the cast and crew (Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Boman Irani and the writers) into similar has-beens as soon as possible, in a tezz manner, seemed to have been the primary goal of this tackily-written film. Changing genres to make a film that has already been made atleast 53 times in Hollywood alone, doesn’t quite alter the veteran South Indian filmmaker’s working style. Hopping and skipping around London, using every Firang extra in the most nonsensical manner possible, and planning shots by renting DVDs of Speed, Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelhan123 on set – while putting in a desi illegal immigrant angle to show that even criminals are human beings – does not maketh an evolution of the director. And this isn’t a case of sensibilities not matching, or tastes being different. This is just a case of poor filmmaking.
It is impossible to defend the sudden insertion of Mallika’s item song at the beginning of this conflict-ridden story, bang in the middle of a chase sequence across building tops. The ugly face of commercialism at its blatant best, of course, but one still cannot defend amateur writing. It is impossible to defend Ajay’s dreamy forays into flashback mode with a pumped-up Kangna, at the oddest of times, while passengers are in danger of being blown up. It is impossible to defend Boman Irani’s bursting blood vessels and bulging eyes as he walks around mouthing dialogues that ACP Pradyuman may have penned, “Iska matlab bomber serious hai. That is why he called us”, “Agar bomb phuta, toh sab mare jayenge, Sir!” – “This means the bomber is serious. That is why he called us”. “If the bomb explodes, everyone will die, Sir!” It is impossible to defend Zayed Khan’s foray into Bollywood, and Sameera Reddy’s ageing face. Almost impossible, actually. It is impossible to defend the fact that some of us were actually hooked onto the suddenly-well-filmed pre-interval chase sequence from a raging river, to a dirt road to the busy city. To the filmmakers’ credit, even the stuntman on the bike resembled Sameera from all angles.
Also, only in a Priyadarshan hotch-potch would you find Mohanlal and Balika Vadhu in the same train compartment, unable to recognize eachother.
Anil Kapoor is not the saving grace of this amateur wild goose-chase because the writers made sure that there was nothing to salvage though he is the best of the worst on screen. A special mention must be made – the inexhaustibly irritating Kangnna Ranaut, who continues to find ways to prove that acting mentally ill was and always will be her forte, does enough to her hair in this film to justify her decision to NOT leave London, come what may. So what if her husband is deported? So what if she was jailed after that? So what if she had his baby? So what if she doesn’t believe in phones and computers? So what if she has a son that delivers his words better than her? So what if she sings “God Save The Queen”?
Eventually, the only thing the writers got right after much soul-searching was their decision to have ‘zz’ in the title. We can add the rest.
Hindi, Action, Color