ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


The KillerThe Killer : Review
24th July 2006  19.45 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Mahesh Bhatt's latest presentation The Killer is the story of a taxi driver who becomes an unwilling accomplice in the killing spree by an assassin who hires his cab.

Directors Raksha Mistry and Hasnain Hyderabadwala play it safe in their debut effort and, instead of attempting something original, go in for a remake of the Hollywood thriller, 'Collateral'.

In 'The Killer', Irrfan Khan slips into Tom Cruise's suit to play the cold-blooded killer. Emraan Hashmi steps into Jamie Foxx's shoes to play the street-savvy taxi driver. And it is the chemistry between Irrfan and Emraan that turns out to be the savior of 'The Killer'.

The film is set in Dubai. Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi) is a happy-go-lucky cabbie who knows the streets of Dubai like the lines on the palm of his hand. He toils hard and dreams of starting a travel agency some day. He wants to marry his girlfriend Rhea ( Nisha Kothari ), who is a bar dancer.

Although the initial reels of the movie will have you believe that it is just another run-of-the-mill romantic story, things pace up with the entry of Vikram (Irrfan Khan).

Vikram hires Nikhil's cab. The dapperly dressed Vikram is in Dubai on an important assignment which Nikhil does not understand until a dead body lands right on the top of the windshield of his taxi.

As Nikhil takes Vikram to different destinations in the city, he gradually understands that the man on the rear seat is an assassin hired to kill a number of witnesses.

As Vikram's night of killings goes on, Nikhil finds himself trapped in a situation from which there is no escape. Faced with Vikram's gun, Nikhil becomes an unwilling accomplice in his crimes. He sees the cold-blooded assassin bump off people without the slightest emotion or regret.

But when one of the witnesses on Vikram's hit list turns out to be none other than Nikhil's love Rhea, he decides to take on the killer.

From the story point of view, the makers of 'The Killer' had hardly anything to work on. The film is an exact rip-off of 'Collateral'. The killing of the ghazal singer, Emraan's meeting the don and pretending to be the killer, Emraan and Irrfan going to the hospital to see Emraan's ailing mother - all are lifted copy-paste from the original. The director duo has only given a new garb to the story to suit the sensitivities of Indian movie buffs.

'The Killer' holds interest solely because of the chemistry between Irrfan and Emraan, the killer and the collateral. There is lighthearted banter between them. There is sarcasm, derision, friendliness and intimidation. This strange bonding between these two characters and how the underdog rebels against the oppressor makes for an interesting watch.

Irrfan Khan plays his role with utmost conviction. He literally breathes his character of a detached, non-sentimental, cold-blooded killer who goes about his job without a slightest prick of conscience.

Emraan Hashmi gets better and better as the movie progresses. From a hapless and submissive cab driver, he transforms into a strong man who refuses to be held to ransom by the eccentric assassin in his cab.

Nisha Kothari doesn't get much footage in the film. However, she does register an impact in a raunchy dance number.

The dialogues in the film are gritty. The visual look is nocturnal. The music is plain average.

In short, 'The Killer' will do well if you want to kill your time.

The Killer
Irrfan Khan
Emraan Hashmi
Nisha Kothari

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