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Taxi No 9211Taxi No 9211 - Review
24th Feb 2006  23.50 IST
By N. K. Deoshi  

Milan Luthria's Taxi No 9211 is a refreshing entertainer about two mutually incompatible characters. Nana Patekar steals the show with his incredible performance and John Abraham proves there is more to him than a handsome face.

Sameera Reddy and Sonali Kulkarni are paired opposite John and Nana.

Raghu Shastri (Nana Patekar) is an insurance salesman in the eyes of his wife (Sonali Kulkarni). But in reality he is a taxi driver. Every morning, he leaves his dingy home in properly ironed shirt and trousers, but changes to his khaki dress to earn his rozi roti driving taxi number 9211.

Raghu doesn't get along well with people. He is cynical, rude and much too straightforward. It is because of this he has had to change dozens of jobs in the past, and his latest job of a taxi driver too is in jeopardy because he has debts to pay.

Jai Mittal (John Abraham) is a high-headed son of a rich industrialist father. Unfortunately for him, his father did not leave him any inheritance in his will before passing away. Jai lives a life of indulgence. Wine, women and partying are what fill his days.

'Taxi Number 9211' tells the story of a day in the life of Raghu and Jai. A day that changes their lives upside down, or rather downside up.

Jai has to appear in court for an important legal hearing regarding his father's will. The case could bring the mammoth inheritance of Rs 300 crore of his father's wealth to his name. Or, if he fails to appear, he may lose the big money to Bajaj, his late father's friend.

Jai takes Raghu's taxi. Like a rich brat sitting in a shabby cab, Jai orders Raghu to step on the gas. Raghu is not willing. Jai offers money. Reluctantly and with his characteristic sarcastic attitude, Raghu steps on the accelerator.

BANG! The taxi rams into a car after jumping a signal. While Raghu takes the heat and handles the occupants of the other car with fisticuffs, Jai gets away.

Raghu knows his day has begun on a bad note as he takes the stock of damage to the taxi. But then, he spots a key in the passenger seat.

Elsewhere, Jai is about to open a locker containing his father's will that he must produce in the court. As Jai reaches for the key, he realizes he lost it in the cab.

The lines are now clearly drawn. Jai wants his key at any cost. But Raghu won't give it to him.

As the story moves on, there is action, humour and drama. Both Raghu and Jai are faced with realities of their own lives. Circumstances force them both to look within. And the conclusion to the story could not have been more apt.

Hats off to Nana Patekar, the man who is the life of this movie. As the caustic taxi-driver Raghu Shastri, Nana keeps a viewer riveted to the screen. Interestingly, he hardly smiles in the movie, and yet he makes you laugh with his sarcastic sense of humour. And he excels in the emotional scenes towards the movie's end.

John Abraham is perfectly cast in the role of a spoilt brat and he carries it with élan. He is beginning to show the making of an actor inside him.

Sameera Reddy, as John's girlfriend, is convincing in her portrayal of a practical girl who wants a secure future. Sonali Kulkarni is a delight to watch in the role of a Maharashtrian housewife. Her mettle as an actress comes forth in her sequences with Nana.

After a few forgettable films in the past, director Milan Luthria takes a huge stride and comes up with a quality movie. 'Taxi Number 9211' is fast and visually striking. The editing is very slick and the overall look of the movie is colourful and refreshing. The songs are properly placed and the story moves and meanders at a gripping pace.

Taxi Number 9211
Nana Patekar
John Abraham
Sameera Reddy
Sonali Kulkarni
Milan Luthria

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