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Friday, 28 March 2014

Dishkiyaoon

What are the elements of a Gangster movie? Firstly you need a story that is convincing enough.  So Sanamjit Talwar, in his debut effort, picks the evergreen Gangsta City that never sleeps as his backdrop. Safe bet considering that it has been fodder for million others before him. In the city, he starts of with a game of Snakes and Ladders between Viki Kartoos (Harman Baweja) and Lakwa (Sunny Deol).


Over the game, Viki narrates his story from his days in school where his father’s asks him to follow Gandhiji and show is other cheek when slapped by the school bully.  When that doesn’t succeed, our young hero finds more success with a brick.  His status suddenly changes from zero to hero.  At that moment he decides to be a gangster with his hero Mota Tony (Prashant Narayanan) who is apparently Mota (fat) where it matters.

The narration then moves on to a complicated flow chart of Viki’s ambition to rule the city.  It paints interesting characters like Iqbal Khaleefa (Sumeet Nijhawan) who is the current ruthless boss of the city. Khaleefa’s right hand man is Rocky Chu (Anand Tiwari) who is the only one in the world who believes that he looks like Sanjay Dutt.  There is the customary love story to ensure all angles are closed.

However Sanamjit Talwar goes wrong, to begin with, in the casting department.  Harman Baweja is a sincere actor but in terms of talent he falls short of even the likes of John Abraham – not a high benchmark to have.  Ditto for Sunny Deol who has some presence but he falls woefully short with his Haryanvi.  As a Punjab Police SP, very few can hold a candle to Sunny Paaji but a Haryanvi gangster???? Nah!!!!

Even without the gaps in story line, the overall narration lacks the intensity that one expects from Gangster movies.  There are no dialogues that have any punch.  There are a couple of meek attempts like, “Mereko Yash Chopra wala love story karna hai.  Prem Chopra wala nahin” or “Marne se kisiko rokne ka nahin, Dushman galti kare toh tokne ka nahin, Yaar ke chhokri ko chhoone ka nahin”.

If one were to look at what was good about Dishkiyaoon, it would be the support cast.  Prashant Narayanan and Sumeet Nijhawan are up there in their dialogue delivery and screen presence.  Ditto for Anand Tiwari.  Ayesha Khanna isn’t too bad either – there is potential there for future reference so long as she doesn’t pretend to play the guitar.

The camera work is also good with some interesting angles and dark overall tint throughout the 2 hours.  The editing team has kept it short as well.  Maybe a few minutes could have been chopped but it doesn’t feel like a drag at any time.  A reasonable but predictable twist at the end makes it worthwhile.  A 5 on 10.  Watch if you have nothing better to do.  Wait for the Shilpa Shetty item number at the end of it all. Worth it!!!

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