Saturday, March 18, 2017


Rusted Parts

In the Nineties, when ‘Director Duo’ Abbas Mustan were at their peak, and making their twisty-turny thrillers with glamorous and grey characters, audiences enjoyed them. The pretty locations, swanky cars, plush mansions and hit music hid the many plot holes.

Now, with the formula creaking at the joints, and no stars to pull the film through, their latest, Machine, is an exercise in futility and unintentional hilarity. The film was made to launch Mustafa Burmawala (Abbas’s son)—at a time when talk of nepotism is rife—and though the young man has done the gym thing, he looks like he has come out of a mould that also spewed out two others in this film, and many others in the ‘struggler’ circuit, who think six pack abs and a good haircut is all it takes. If he has some real acting talent, it was not evident in this film. But if he has to utter lines like, “I will smudge your lipstick, but never your kohl,” who can blame the guy for looking nonplussed at all times?

The film begins with the animated inside of an ear (really!), which makes sense much later, as does the significance of the title. But most of the time, there is no attempt to even link one scene to the next. Why, for instance, does the film open with Sara (Kiara Advani—pretty and vapid) presenting a cheque to a nun? Why is she and the ‘hero’ Ransh (Mustafa Burmawala) car racers, it has no bearing on the story. How come the lead pair is seen in college one day and married soon after? Why is Sara so dumb that she loves and trusts a killer? What is Ronit Roy doing in this silly film in which he keeps asking Mustafa to give him a hug!

The lines are giggle-worthy—a guy shows Sara a video that is proof of a murder. Why didn’t you go to the police? she asks in a rare moment of lucidity. “Because I am a commando,” says the dude (Ehsan Shankar). At some point, Johny Lever turns up eyes popping, nostrils flaring, to add comic relief to a film that doesn’t need his overacting.

The plot borrows from Baazigar, Race and many other films and after a painfully extended climax, has quotes from Swami Vivekanand, Mahatma Gandhi, and Steve Jobs!  Huh?


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