Take a bunch of assorted, morally bankrupt and trigger-happy characters and throw in a bag filled with lots of money...and lo! you have the recipe for a slick thriller on the lines of Johnny Gaddaar. But a JG The Film Emotional Atyachar isn’t. For though it has its share of unpredictable mad-cap twists and bends, the film doesn’t pack in the edge-of-the-seat intensity that’s paramount for any thriller to click.
Sleazeballs are aplenty in this Tarantino-meets-Kashyap kinda tale of greed, deception, manipulation and mayhem. There are two corrupt cops (Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey) in civvies out to flay a casino owner (Abhimanyu Singh) who’s got a pretty mistress (Kalki Koechlin). There’s a beleaguered businessman (Mohit Ahlawat) in desperate need of money. There’s the small-time goon (Ravi Kishen) who wants to be a big gangster and would do anything for money.
The story unfolds in multiple tracks, and as the tracks converge and coalesce on the Mumbai-Goa highway the action gets edgier. Guns go bang bang and dead bodies pile up.
Debutant director Akshay Shere keeps the proceedings fast and funny (the film’s just a little over one-and-a-half hours) and there are indeed many interesting turns in the plot. Where he falters is in cashing in on the build-up. Too many parallel tracks convolute the plot to the extent that when they all converge in the finale the impact is not hammer-hard. The dialogues (Karthik and Bhavini) are downright dirty at places. They couldn’t have been otherwise for a film of this genre.
Of the actors, Ranvir and Vinay stand out in the ensemble. Ranvir is doubtlessly one of the most natural actors around. Catch him in that scene when Kalki tempts him to elope. There’s a shade of disbelief on his face and he licks his lip momentarily, as if getting what he’s thirsted long for. Ravi Kishen’s rowdy goon borders on psychopath while Mohit Ahlawat is less wooden than we’ve seen him before. Kalki performs well and Abhimanyu too gets his moments.
The film’s production value is compromised but what truly matters is if the story is gripping. Newcomer Akshay Shere spins a complicated, somewhat engrossing yarn, but still leaves a lot to be desired.