Cast: Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt, Chunky Pandey, Rajesh Khattar, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amisha Patel, Chitrangada Singh Directors: Abbas Burmawalla, Mustan Burmawalla
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
You can tell Race 2 is an Abbas Mustan flick, right from the get go. Race 2 carries the director duo’s signature style, packed with all things glitzy and glamorous, be it bodies, cars, casinos, yachts, hotels or locales. And the money! Oh Yes, the money is mind-blowing and the heist, mind-boggling! The amount at stake is 15 billion Euros, and the heist – The Shroud of Turin. Ambitious, indeed! It must’ve looked and sounded very good on paper, but in the end this race amounts to a masquerade of chiseled cluster of male and female bodies who scheme and sketch against each other, in tantalizing locales and tempting vehicles, so impervious and indifferent, eventually the viewer feels the same.
Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is on a mission – his sole aim in life is to avenge the death of his lady love. His target, billionaire crime lord Armaan Malik (John Abraham). A ruthless and ravishing Elena (Deepika Padukone), Armaan’s sister is his partner in crime. Ranveer’s first step towards retribution is to gain the confidence of the enemy and of course, the seduction of the luscious lass Elena. Armaan’s girlfriend Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandez), not exactly a poster child for sobriety tries to get close to Ranveer with an agenda on her mind. Raveer brings Robert D’Costa (Anil Kapoor) into the mix, to gain access and build friendship with Armaan. D’Costa brings with him, his ditsy secretary Cherry (Ameesha Patel).
There are more characters “racing” to the finish line, but unfortunately this edition is not as enticing as the previous one. With heavy resemblance to Hollywood’s Goodbye Lover, the original Race flaunted a myriad of twists and turns in its plot that made for an interesting watch. This one appears to be an original. Applauses. Making an original does not suffice though; a believable storyline would certainly help. Is the movie entertaining? Absolutely. Never a dull moment, frames are stuffed with sensuous, designer clad folk and literally gravity defying stunts with a captivating backdrop on the canvas. There is fruit salad on the menu too, complete with sexual innuendos blissfully overlooked by the airhead assistant –she apparently does not even get the banana jokes and looks confused when her boss blurts “Cherry, I don’t have time to pop your cherry”. Oh well!
With plenty of room to flaunt all they’ve got, the girls and boys seem to have had fun. Saif shines, managing to hold his own, despite the lackluster plot and rather lazy screenplay. John does well and of course looks fabulous, as always. Deepika is delightful in her shrewd and sexy avatar with looks that can, and actually do kill. Ameesha is convincing in her dumb blonde act. Jacqueline looks hot fencing in tight clothes, except she never gets to use it anywhere. The idea was possibly an implied attempt to say, do-dhari talwar (double edged sword), yaar! Salim-Sulaiman’s background score does complete justice to the pace and mood of the movie. Music Director Pritam must’ve had a ball with never ending peppy numbers. Atif Aslam and Sunidhi Chauhan rock ‘Be intehaa’. ‘Party on your mind’ perhaps best describes the essence of Race 2.
All that flamboyancy seems to go up in flame, like the many cars in the movie. Backed rather poorly by special effects, the climax action sequence on the plane is almost laughable. Perhaps where Shiraz Ahmed’s story really fails is the planning and execution of the heist piece. It is simply unconvincing, to say the least. The dragged out chase scenes could’ve easily been replaced with a more intelligent plot to steal something like the Shroud of Turin. It seems the security of this priceless relic is breached with less effort and planning than robbing, let’s says a bank. Something to remember for the suggested sequel – Security in place for artifacts of this caliber is perhaps not as clueless as Cherry.
What are you going to the theatre for? Lavish and luxurious locales, breathtaking bods, enviable engines, designer clothes, laced with maybe some double meaning jokes for comic relief, then this your pick. Style is of such high precedence in this Race that Saif sports his sun glasses as he pays respect to his dearly departed at her grave, sobbing and in pouring rain. Style must prevail at all cost. At one point in the movie Ranveer says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold” – the writers must also remember that a narrative is not, you know, best served cold. Let’s hope for a sizzling hot storyline in the implied sequel.