Times Of India Review: Johnny Gaddaar

29 Sep 2007, 0045 hrs IST,Nikhat Kazmi,TNN
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Johnny Gaddaar (thriller)
Cast: Neil Mukesh, Dharmendra, Rimi Sen
Direction: Sriram Raghavan
Critics rating: /photo.cms?msid=2412930
WHEN a guy dedicates his film to James Hadley Chase, you know the battle is already half won. For if there ever was a baap of the thriller genre, it was Mister Chase. Most of his books can now be called cult classics (who remembers No Orchids for Miss Blandish?). Hence the importance of Sriram Raghavan’s film which tries to bring alive a lost world of chills, thrills and twists in the tale; when heroes were grey and morals were undefined. More importantly, an unpredictable world where heroes turned losers with just a frown on Lady Luck’s brow. The film teasingly weaves and winds its way through the dark recesses of the human psyche and comes up with an ace, when you least expect it.

It’s a simple story of a young guy (Neil Mukesh) who wants to get rich quick and the best bet is to steal the money from his own gang. But that’s not an easy job, specially since the gang is headed by veteran Dharmendra who knows how to pick the straight guys from the crooks, the innocent from the vile. Also, there are three other wily partners to contend with and a girlfriend who doesn’t mind love on the razor’s edge. So what’s our Johnny up to. He watches that golden oldie, Amitabh Bachchan’s relatively unknown film Parwana , and concocts a similar plot, only to realise there’s many a slip between inspiration and reality.

Raghavan had earlier given us a turn-of-the-century thriller with Ek Haseena Thi , the film which projected the dark side of Saif, much before Omkara . Johnny Gaddaar lives up to his debut venture and doesn’t let you sit back. Watch out for Neil Mukesh who pitches the perfect note as the smooth snake in the sleeve. This grandson of Mukesh definitely has a long innings ahead. Wish Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music score had matched up to the jagged notes of the film. Nevertheless, this one’s complete paisa vasool stuff.

***1/2

Movie Review: Johnny Gaddaar

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After an impressive debut in Ek Hasina Thi, director Sriram Raghavan is back with his next outing, Johnny Gaddaar. Without building up any suspense, let me proclaim, that Johnny Gaddaar is one of the finest Bollywood thrillers to hit the big screen. My days of kvetching that Bollywood film makers cannot make good thrillers are over. Sriram Raghavan has arrived!!!

Movie Story

The story revolves around a gang of five men – Vinay Pathak, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain and Daya, who gather Rs. 2.5 crore to give to a corrupt inspector in return of some valuables worth a fortune. Seeing the huge sum of money, one member of the gang decides to betray his Gang and decides to keep the entire sum of money for himself. Then begins a game of deceit, murder and revenge.

Johnny Gaddaar boasts of an impeccable script ( that is half the battle won) , paramount amount of twists and turns, and most importantly it does what an ideal thriller should do: It involves the audience in the film. The movie tells you the Gaddaar at the very outset and it is up to you to see the clues given and stress upon your grey cells and enjoy this taut thriller. Just when you realize, ok this is the path the movie is going to take, you are exposed to a new lane. A lane more racier than the one you were treading before. The remarkable twists and turns of Johnny Gaddaar and particularly the ending of the film will have you smile on the cruel works of destiny. Continue reading

Indiatimes Movie Review: Johnny Gaddaar

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28 Sep, 2007 06:32 pm ISTlPraveen Lance Fernandes/INDIATIMES MOVIES
Cast: Dharmendra, Neil Mukesh, Zakir Hussain, Vinay Pathak, Rimmi Sen, Govind Namdeo, Daya Shetty, Ashvini Kalsekar.
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Rating: ****

If Farah Khan claimed Main Hoon Na to be a tribute to Bollywood films of the 70s and 80s, Sriram Raghavan pin-points to one of the finest storytellers – Vijay Anand. In fact before the title credits, he pays tribute to Vijay Anand and author James Hadley Chase, a pioneer in the thriller department. Clearly Sriram is a person who had been exposed to films like Jewel Thief , Teesri Manzil and Johnny Mera Naam and their influence is evident in the film. No, Johnny Gaddaar is not a plagiarized or partly inspired film. This is a film which stands out on it own thanks to a well written script.

/photo.cms?msid=2412381 Shashadri (Dharmendra), Vikram (Neil Mukesh), Shardul (Zakir Hussain), Prakash (Vinay Pathak) and Shiva (Daya Shetty) have to come up with Rs. 2.5 crores between them to purchase heroin worth Rs. 5 crores from a corrupt police-officer (Govind Namdeo). Once they get the money, Shiva is given the responsibility of delivering the money to the cop. But he doesn’t make it. Rather his dead body is found. Who killed him and robbed the five of their money? Was it one of them or did someone get air about their plans? No- that’s not what the suspense is about. In fact the audience comes to know exactly who the Gaddaar is but the beauty lies in the fact that the rest of the gang-members and the cop don’t know it. If we saw the desi-version of Reservoir Dogs in the form of Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante , it revealed the snitch in the very end. But that is not the case here. Unlike all other thrillers that we are accustomed to witnessing, this one is completely different.

Other characters like Shardul’s wife Mini (Rimmi Sen), Prakash’s wife (Ashvini Kalsekar), Shiva’s girlfriend Vyjanti all have an important role to play in the film. These subplots are all intertwined within the narrative and they never act as hindrances. Continue reading

Vinay Pathak is of course not an idiot

Vinay Pathak is of course not an idiot
September 29, 2007 7:20:08 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network

Especially after BHEJA FRY, everyone would have expected Pathak to succumb to the temptation of playing dumb, brainless or a twisted comic character. But the ‘idiot’ man from the Sagar Ballary directed film certainly has other ideas as he continues to impress with different acts in each of his subsequent films.

After BHEJA FRY, he was seen in a small role in BUDDHA MAR GAYA as a horny doctor who is willing to take a ‘chance’ and take a romp with a struggling actress (Rakhi Sawant). Though the film came and went on to be a dud at the box office, Vinay’s act didn’t fail to bring in laughs.

Just last week, he was seen in a complete contrast as a cop from Rajasthan in MANORAMA SIX FEET UNDER. As a simple, uncomplicated and a practical man, he came up with a very natural act. Continue reading

Quirky item song in NO SMOKING

Quirky item song in NO SMOKING
September 29, 2007 7:43:23 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network

A quirky item song shot on popular ramp walker Jessy Randhawa is currently on air.

Going with the theme of the film, the song is titled ‘Jab Bhi Cigarette Jalti Hi Main Jalta Hoon’. A night club song, it is smoky, haunting and a little eerie. So what’s really different about it?

Well, the quirky part comes from the fact that though the song is picturised on a woman, the voice which is heard is that of Adnan Sami. Now even that may have not been too edgy an experiment but what catches your attention is that Jessy actually lip synchs (Yes, you heard it right!) to Adnan’s words. Continue reading

Johny Gaddar Review by Sunny

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Warning: Some plot spoilers included

Johny Gaddar is the latest offering from Sriram Raghavan, the man who gave us Ek Hasina Thi. The film is inspired by some of veteran director Vijay Anand’s works and James Hadley Chase novels. The main protagonist(or should we say, antagonist!) Vikram aka Johny also borrows some of his ideas from the Amitabh Bacchhan thriller Parwana.

The premise is simple yet very different from your average Bollywood fare. Five conmen plan a deal which will make each of them richer by 50 Lakh in 3 days. Sheshadri(Dharmendra) is supposedly the top guy, a la Danny Ocean. He’s supported by Prakash(Vinay Pathak), Shardul(Zakir Hussain), Shiva(Daya Shetty) and Vikram(Neil Mukesh). Vikram however, has other plans; he borrows several ideas from his James Hadley Chase novels and Parwana to double-cross his fellow associates and elope with Mini(Rimi Sen), Shardul’s wife! Vikram’s plan however, goes haywire when he accidentally kills Shiva in the first phase of his plan. After that point, Vikram’s lady luck helps him escape every tryst with destiny untill the climax, where poetic justice is delivered.

The film had all the makings of a taut thriller, but it is marred by lack of pace. The sript was indeed interesting with one accident leading to another and so on and so forth, but it was executed in a very sluggish manner. The director seemed to have lost his vision after the intermission, where he went absolutely overboard with character development and took too much screen time familiarizing us with their personal/family lives. The sadistic outings with Shiva’s girlfriend Vaijanthi were totally uneccesary, and they really left a bad taste in your mouth and stomach. Through the entire length of the film, there was not one scene which thrilled you. The only moment where the script catches you off guard is Sheshadri’s dying sequence, and it was very well executed too. The script meanders a lot!, particularly after the intermission and you just don’t know what the director wants; does he want to thrill you, does he want to make you sob, does he want you to empathize or does he want to tickle your funny bone? Johny Gaddar is a perfect example of a brilliant plot gone awry because of too many distractions. Part of my dissatisfaction might have to do with the fact that I had went into the theater to watch an on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller, but even if I judge the film as just another movie..it still falls flat on most of the grounds. Continue reading

Bollywood’s most paisa vasool lines

How many times have you found yourself rewinding a scene … just to hear that one dialogue again? Sometimes a powerful line has a much greater impact than any other aspect of a movie. The most recent example is Chak De India. Today it seems no talk on sports is complete without incorporating a ‘Chak De’. In fact, spoofs of famous one-liners are even driving advertisement campaigns across different media. Here’s a look at some of Bollywood’s most famous lines that made you say ‘Wah Kya Dialogue Hai’

Raj Kanwar launches Shatrughan’s son

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With a string of star kids making a beeline for Bollywood, here’s another one. Director Raj Kanwar who is known to launch many new faces in Bollywood like Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan and Arya Babbar will be launching another actor in his upcoming film. And this time it will be a star kid.

The director’s next untitled venture is all set to star Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv. Raj Kanwar confirms the reports “Yes I have signed him for my next film. The film is going to be a big one. And the launch will be announced soon. At the moment it is too early to comment on the film.”