Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Race - The Roller Coaster Ride!

I finally feel like coming out of a hibernation period. I did not attempt to write anything for the past two months primarily because I was not getting any good thing to write about. Not that I have it now but then I couldn't have waited forever for that to happen.

A few days back I saw Race directed by the whitewashed director duo of Abbas Mustan. The promos were interesting and I was compelled to watch it. After 3 failed attempts to get the tickets, I finally managed to sneak a peek. Boy! It was a film that will remind you of a giant roller coaster ride that doesn't seem to stop. Now that the film is already 3 weeks old, I can take the liberty of spilling the beans and letting you know of the story, rather my interpretation of the story assuming that those of you who have not watched it do not intend to.

The story begins with an accident and then shifts to a derby ground. The story goes to a flashback and we see a stud farm where Saif and Akshaye (Khanna and not Kumar) live together. If this reminds you of Brokeback mountain, hold on - the first twist is here! Both these guys are brothers and are very strange to say the least. Saif on his part overlooks all attention he gets from his oozing with sex appeal secretary played by Katrina and Akshaye Khanna wears an ensemble of blue jeans, orange shirt, brown jacket, red shoes (Who says Govinda days are long gone!) and a wig but still oozes the confidence of a casanova. Didn't someone say that it’s not the exterior that counts? Saif lays all gayish connotations to his character at rest by getting an arm candy called Bipasha who plays an upcoming Indian model in South Africa at the age of 30.

The brothers are rich, thanks to a big fortune left by their Dad. Saif takes care of the business while Akshay takes care of the city's Daaru ka thekaas. At a party thrown in to celebrate Saif's homecoming after a near fatal accident, Akshay meets Bipasha and then has a heart-to-heart talk with his brother:

Akshay: If only I get this girl, I will have no reason to drink anymore.
Saif (thinking): Ek romantic song to ho jaane diya hota uske saath uske baad kehta ye sab :(

Akshay: Bhaiyya, get me married to her and I will quit drinking and become a good boy
Saif: If that makes you happy, I will play the Rajinder Kumar from Sangam and have her marry you. I am anyways too much into my romance with Kareena and she might not like it if I dance around with Bipasha.

The deal is sealed and Akshay beguiles Bipasha and all seems to go smooth when the story writer wakes up from his slumber and dishes out a twist. Bipasha is actually a runaway girl who has had a criminal past. Akshay knows it all too well and then he tells her about his plans to get Saif knocked off to claim the insurance of $100 million. Katrina meanwhile is relegated to play a demure secretary who has a stock line to deliver:

"Sir ye hain wo papers jinpe aapko sign karne hain"

To break this monotony, the Burmawala brothers plot to take Saif and Katrina to a pub where Katrina sings to woo her love. The lyrics go something like this:

"Bin tere sanam, is jahaan mein, bekaraar hum
dum dadam dadam"

Any guy could have fallen for that 'dum dadam dadam' part but Saif doesn't melt! You begin to think - Is his character gay after all?

The gripping story moves on. Akshay plots to murder Saif by throwing him off a roof top. Another twist is thrown in - Bipasha is still Saif's lover! And I did not tell you guys about that romp Saif and Bipasha have in the stud farm one stormy night (damn the cliches in a hindi film!!) because I want this blog to be 'U' certified. The twists go out of control as Bipasha switches teams at the last moment and helps Akshay throw Saif from the roof top.

Enter a Karamchand-Kitty incarnation in Anil Kapoor-Sameera Reddy. At 48, Detective Anil Kapoor is at his wittiest best as he mouths one double meaning dialogue after another to generate mirth. The subject of all his 'friendly' banter is Sameera whose job as a secretary is to maintain a record of Anil's daily dose of fruits. The detective takes up the case that seems more tangled than Andrew Symond's crop of hair.

Enter Katrina at this stage who now claims to be Saif's wife. During interrogation, she recites the songs that the two of them sang on their business trip to Cape Town. Strangely enough, though she has a British accent, the words used in the lyrics of the song she sang had an earthy feeling (sample these - batiyaan, saiyaan, jiya, piya) and that irks the sharp detective. He follows her trails. The audience is left agape when they see Katrina on a beach with, hold your breath, her brother-in-law Akshay Khanna! Anil Kapoor catches them red handed. Knowing that corruption is not the proprietorship of Indian police only, Akshay offers money to Anil and he gladly accepts saying - "Pehle fruits khaata tha, ab dry fruits khaaunga"

After the money exchanges hands, Akshay decides to bump off Bipasha. As she stares at death from close quarters, Saifu - the super hero makes a comeback and saves her. The audience is sent into a tizzy. "What the hell is going to happen now?" is the question on every lips and no one seems to have an answer. I chew my nails and wonder if this is going to turn into a ghost story. The experience of the directors comes into play at this point. In order to counter the low IQ of the audience, they decide to recount a step by step break up of a series of events to show how Saif was saved with Anil's help.
Akshay Khanna and Katrina Kaif are left with no place to hide so they engage Saif in a motor race to claim the property. I wonder if a horce race was more befitting as the initial setting was a stud farm. Anyways, the two step brothers go all out to race for a $200 million prize money (and you thought that only IPL is highly paying). Villainous Akshay plots again as he gives Saif a car that does not have brakes. While driving, Maryada Purushottam Saif jokes to Akshay saying that he too had a bomb planted in the car Akshay was driving. Akshay takes it a bit too seriously and ends up paying with his and Katrina's life.

Saif is the victor and he goes back with all the money and Bipasha in his arms.

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