A Rigged Race

race.jpgRace has all the ingredients of a blockbuster – a sizzling star cast…yeah, that’s about all that’s needed, really. But, jokes apart, the movie has a lot going for it, since it’s been directed by the famed Abbas-Mastan duo, very heavily promoted and has peppy music to top it off. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s wrong with it; the entire set-up is just too calculated and clichéd.

The story is about the rivalry between two brothers, Ranvir (Saif Ali Khan) and Rajiv (Akshaye Khanna) Singh, who are wealthy Indians residing in Durban, South Africa. Their money is derived from horse-racing and bets and like true gamesters, they enjoy living life on the edge. The “mandatory” women here are Sonia (Bipasha Basu), a model, and Sophia (Katrina Kaif), Ranvir’s secretary. We’re told that Sophia is secretly in love with her boss, who in turn, is sort of having an affair with Sonia, who has caught Rajiv’s fancy. The stage is thus set for the consequent events to enfold, with several twists and turns along the way, including the entrance of a police officer, R D (Anil Kapoor), and his foolish assistant, Mini (Sameera Reddy).

Basically, the tale has been told innumerable times before. The supposed twists seem stale and contrived and the climax is utterly predictable. The plot and screenplay bring to mind several other thrillers, some better, and, some worse. Even formulaic movies can succeed if they manage to engage the viewer’s attention, but this one fails to do so because none of its characters are likeable enough to make you care what becomes of them. Kissi ke haath doodh se dhoole hue nahi hai. (Every single one of them is villainous).

The performances are quite average. Saif and Akshaye are good as the brothers, but not spectacular. There isn’t much scope for their talent to shine through. Bipasha and Katrina are forgettable, as usual. Not surprisingly, they seem to be present to strut around in skimpy clothes and support their men. Anil Kapoor is unremarkable and Sameera Reddy is just silly, although that fits in with her role.

It’s not that Race is a bad movie; it’s watchable and, in the absence of better movies, quite entertaining, if you’re willing to overlook the obvious flaws.However, if you’re looking for a suspense-filled thriller, prepare to be disappointed. This one is more likely to make you sink into your seat than grip the edge of it.

Aishwarya Jha


[Image courtesy: http://www.naachgaana.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/race.jpg]