Friday, January 6, 2012

The 'Players' Review

For years, people have joked about a big budget Bollywood movie that would eradicate plot and characters altogether and simply cut to the idiocy. Abbas-Mustan have finally done it.  SFX, car chases and a big cast making loud noises do not camouflage  an idiotic movie, and Players emerges as a spectacular achievement in stupidity and monotony. Just when you thought Prince couldn't have been any more rubbish, along comes Players to prove you wrong.   

Players stars the extremely talented ensemble of Abhishek Bachchan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bobby Deol, Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and it makes you pay for every two seconds of pleasure with 10 seconds of pain, courtesy of the ghastly acting and plot holes colossal enough to fit Mars in. Although terrible, this film does raise valid questions - Why does Bollywood keep assuming the audience is a flock of extinct flightless birds? Why would anyone still hire Omi Vaidya to act in a movie? Why would someone like Vinod Khanna agree to be in this mess? Extensive market research shows that there's a niche audience out there for such travesties like Players - orangutans whose hearing and mental abilities are diminished. 

Messrs. Abbas-Mustan mercilessly mutilate both The Italian Job movies and replace their chic vibe for one that resembles an acid-trip episode of Yule Love Stories. Where both the Hollywood films were enjoyable thrill rides, Players is more like a sudden kick in your jewels. Here we have good guy Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) who wants to build a school for kids by drawing up a plan to steal some gold that is on board a train from Russia to Romania. He rounds up a motley gang of Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna), Ronnie (Bobby Deol), Riya (Bipasha Basu), Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh), Bilal (Sikander Kher), Sunny (Omi Vaidya), Naina (Sonam Kapoor). Just like in the original, one gang member double-crosses them and makes off with the booty.   

Like in Race, there are twists, and the plot jumps more signals than a fugitive ambulance - in fact the second half is so topsy-turvy that even the actors are unable to keep track of what exactly is meant to be happening. It becomes clear that the cash-hungry Abbas-Mustan never really understood what the makers of The Italian Job did that made it great. The whole of Players seems to sweat from Abbas-Mustan’s effort to just make every single scene masaledaar.

The characters, just like the lines are monumentally foolish. Ten years ago it was cool for Bollywood actors to mouth ‘babay’. Players is the punishment for relishing that. In fact if you collect all the scenes with legible dialogue, they still wouldn't add up to the time one needs to boil one egg. At one point our heroes buy their ‘heist equipment’ from a store called Gizmo - a great example of the sort of visionary heavy-handedness that conduits generations of filmmakers. The special effects are plenty but are not very special, and they're just flung at us mechanically. The tone of the movie is posh gloss, but it stinks of landfill.   

Abhishek Bachchan is as uncharismatic as ever. The inconsistency between Mr. Bachchan’s 'hey look at me' heroic posing and his expressions, which come off as a hilarious cross between Vivek Mushran and Nakul Kapur, has never been more jarring. Sikander Kher’s character carries all the intensity of a Sesame Street warrior. Sonam Kapoor delivers her lines in a monotone - her mood is red, her clothes are blue and her performance is horrible. A few actors grace the big screen, a few excel on the small screen, and those like Neil Nitin Mukesh are obscured by your palm screen. The less said about Bobby Deol the better – it is actually physically painful to watch him here. Bipasha Basu gives the impression that even if you turn your mind off to its lowermost possible functionality, you’ll still over-think her.   

Players is an awful, uninteresting, infuriating, and never ending disaster. Those with low threshold of pain should skip it. But the film is legendarily bad, and fans of truly wretched cinema will love Bollywood history's most inept remake just for the jaw-drop value alone. Double bill Players with the also ludicrous Luck and you’ll have a new kind of accidental torture-porn cinema.






First published in Mumbai Boss

23 comments:

  1. Biased review. You're just jealous of me 'cause I've bigger moobs than yours.

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  2. LOL!! You should have a separate blog just for bollywood movies.

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  3. To answer your question : "Why does Bollywood keep assuming the audience is a flock of extinct flightless birds?" Have you seen Bipasha Basu's twitter profile? The lady has been RTing all the "rave" reviews of the public you have seen it.. You gotta see it to believe it.. One person has said "Best movie of 2012 so far!!" I mean its the first movie of 2012 for god sakes !!!
    There are idiots like that who love the movie thats why they make such movies.

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  4. I can't wait to watch this in the Big Screen. It is going to be EPIC.

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  5. Wow. Some movie it is, must watch during one of those braindead times! :)
    Good review as usual. I love how you rip the movies! :)

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  6. typo capophagic should be coprophagic no?

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  7. Wondefully shredded to pieces and this movie deserves nothing else.
    Great Job

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  8. hahaha well said....if the original producers of The Italian Job (1969) were to see this one they wud commit suicide!! :P

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  9. well said...but.. half star bhi kyun diya ;)

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  10. Half star nahi, ye aadha thenga hai Balwant bhaiya

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  11. I used to watch shitty films earlier just to see how shitty they are but now I just read your reviews, save my money and time. Janta k sacche sevak ho aap. Keep up the good work. The similes and metaphors used by you are hilarious. These reviews you write are a piece of art. No wonder people are writing testimonials for you on their blogs. Sab mil k bolo: Mihir bhaiya Zindabaad.

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  12. Forget the movie for a while, you still remember Vivek Mushran and Nakul Kapur?! LOL

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  13. Hindi movies should come with a warning - "Too much exposure to Neil Nitin Mukesh can result in partial or total blindness"

    NNM = Perfect light reflector!

    P.S. Mihir, You just BBQed my retinas with the very mention of NNM

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  14. Just a thought which occurred to me. Maybe you could shed some light on it in your next blogpost. During the 90s, people would flock in to watch Govinda in what were basically mindless comedies. Now, they were not intelligent movies by any mile but still these movies ran to full houses and were hits.
    Shouldnt movies like that have a different rating status? I mean take Players for instance, maybe Abbas Mustan wanted to make a masala movie without making any sense and make it a hit the way Karan Johar and SRK do because maybe for them money is the be all and end all.

    P.S: I went to watch Players after reading your review and yes you were right it sucked.

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  15. I like a goofy masala movie as much as the average Sallutard. But films like 'Players' fail even on that level. They just aren't entertaining enough, unlike gems such as 'Saajan Chale Sasuraal' in the 90s.

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  16. Still give it a thought. Maybe You could write about it in your next blogpost

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  17. I believe Govinda's comedy flicks were perfect entertainer during the 90s. To me films like Dhule Raja, Raja Babu, Coolie no.1 etc. are still entertainers and i do not miss it when on TV (of course when i have absolutely no work). There was content in those films no matter how cheap they look today. And of course Govindas performance was praise worthy.

    Whereas, Players is a depressing rip off of a great film (1969, not 2003). Style is what they have focused more than content and performace (the story of most bollywood flicks).

    Another reason for Govinda movies to do well in the 90s is maybe because of the flurry of similar looking action flicks (compare any Akshay kumar movie). Probably a reason why audiences flocked to watch Govindas plain entertainers.

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