Saturday, March 29, 2008


It's no wonder stars of Race talk mostly about their styling in their many interviews—that's all there is to say.

They all have to dress nattily, and strut around on swanky South African locations, trying to look cool; every once in a while, they break into sexy song-and-dance numbers—acting displays if any, are purely accidental.

Race is the kind of suspense thriller Abbas-Mustan have been making of late, some like Ajnabee have worked, others like Naqaab haven't—the kind of film in which all the characters are greedy and venal, and thoroughly despicable, so the viewer would find it tough to root for any one.

Ranbir (Saif Ali Khan) is a Durban stud-farm owner and Rajeev (Akshaye Khanna) his alcoholic brother. When Rajeev falls for his brother's girlfriend Sonia (Bipasha Basu), Ranbir sacrifices his love, but the actual game plan turns out to be quite different. The fourth pawn on the chessboard is Ranbir's secretary Sophia (Katrina Kaif).

There is endless scheming and plotting, at some point there's a murder, and an Inspector Robert D'Costa (Anil Kapoor) jumps into the picture, eating fruit all the time, accompanied by his dumb assistant Mini (Sameera Reddy). Inspired by the old serial Karamchand, this cop tries too hard to be funny and succeeds only in being vulgar.

To their credit, even with a too-convoluted script, which stops making sense the minute you stop to think, Abbas-Mustan do throw up a few surprises and unexpected twists. It takes patience to view, because all the skeins they unravel, need knitting again with rambling explanations, flashbacks and, of course, song breaks.

Abbas-Mustan have modest aims, they don't strive for originality or even extravagant creativity—it's enough to collect stars together, add a dash of glamour and hope the package works. If the audience is in a particularly undemanding mood, it does.
It's not so much a race as a game of chance.


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