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Players - Movie Review

'Players' is a botched up job!
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Jan 06, 2012 12:31:43 GMT
 

Players - Movie Review
The ApunKaChoice movie review of Players. British director Peter Collinson -- may the lord bless his soul -- and American director Felix Gray Gray -- verily alive and kicking -- must love their movies The Italian Job they directed in 1969 and 2003 respectively. But if the latter was to watch its Indian adaptation Players by our desi men in white, Abbas Mustan, he might either pull out his hair in disappointment, or -- on the contrary, after comparing his film to its botched up Indian rip-off -- be driven to a megalomaniacal delusion of having himself made a cinematic masterpiece, or -- at worst -- might pull up the Indian makers for artistic defamation and aesthetic butchering. For Players is a film to guarantee migraine to those immune of headaches, fits of yawn to the insomniacs, and trainloads of frustration to the lovers of action genre. It’s a film whose ticket you will happily gift to those you want revenge from!

Alright, let’s not be unfair. For starters, expecting Abbas-Mustan to go one better on the two directors mentioned above would be to expect an Indian high jumper to land on the moon. And then we have a bunch of non-actors, the esteemed coterie of Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Sikander Kher competing among themselves to see who hams less and fluffs least. Of all, Deol is the most fortunate, not because he acts well, but because his character is bumped off half way through the film, thus sparing him of the remaining monstrosity of this film. If anything was left, we have Pritam’s tortuous tunes foisted upon us, one song after another. Now, do so many pits make a hit? Go figure!

Storyline: Charlie (Abhishek), a chartered accountant by day and a conman by night, comes to know of a gold bullion worth 1000 crores being trainsported from Russia to Romania. The aim is to gather a team of experts and pull off this daring heist. The experts he manages to bring together are: Ronnie (Bobby Deol) an illusionist, Riya (Bipasha Basu) a locomotive engine expert, Bilal (Sikander Kher) an explosives specialist, Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh) a master hacker and Sunny (Omi Vaidya) the prosthetic make-up specialist.

There’s also Naina (Sonam Kapoor) who harbours a crush on Charlie but is left flaring her nostrils for the most part as he cozies up with Riya.

Now, will this team of the world’s best players (as we are duly told) pull off this dangerous heist? Is there a rat in the pack? Will someone betray and backstab? If yes, how will the remaining players square up with him or her?

What Players essentially lacks is a deft execution on the part of directors. The director duo, known for relying too heavy on Hollywood inspiration throughout their career, brings in their old world style that’s well past its expiry date. Sample this: all the players (the would-be looters, that is) are introduced in a sloppy sequence set inside a hospital one by one like strippers in a burlesque show. It’s a sequence you can’t help laughing at, and to your gaiety note that you are not the only one doing so in theatre. Rest assured there are such sequences aplenty when the film wants you to gawk seriously, but you laugh perilously.

The action sequences, the train robbery, the car chases, are tacky, at best. The twists and turns are so lousy that you almost foresee them and can’t help going ‘aha!’ at your ‘clairvoyance’ when they come to pass. Among the actors, only Neil Nitin Mukesh and Omi Vaidya deliver what comes close to the definition of a performance.

Before the film’s release, Abbas-Mustan promised that ‘Players’ will “blow your mind away”. Mind? Well, it certainly blows your money and time away.

Last word: Players is neither glitter, nor gold. I say go for old, and watch ‘The Italian Job’ DVD instead.

Rating: 1 star out of 5
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