“Race saason ki…race dhadkan ki….race chahat ki….” “oh zaara zaara touch me touch me touch me……”
If you listen to the radio, by now you would be more than familiar with this song. Race happened to be the movie which was eagerly awaited by the fanatical fans of Bollywood movies. Bollywood, which was, at one point, completely caught up with the romance genre, is slowly breaking away from its self-imposed confines and venturing into unknown genres such as the thriller or action genre Race happens to be an attempt down the road less traveled by the director duo Abbas Mustan.
Packed with a very saleable and powerful star cast, Race tells the story of two brothers Ranvir Singh (played by Saif Ali Khan) and his little brother Rajeev Singh (Akshay Khanna).
Set in picturesque locales of Durban and Cape town, Race is a thriller which is jam packed with crazy twists and unexpected happenings. It is a ‘love and hate’ saga of two power hungry brothers; the story of a man living under the highly imposing shadow of his elder brother..
The story revolves around the lives of these two brothers. Ranvir is a shrewd businessman and the owner of a sprawling estate on a huge ranch called Stallions. Horse breeding and racing is his lifeblood. On the contrary, his much pampered younger brother is a lethargic fellow who prefers to loiter around and squander his time and money on alcohol.
Enter the gorgeous ladies – Sonia (Bipasha Basu) and Sophia (Katrina Kaif). They serve as eye candies in the movie and other than that, they play second fiddle to the men. Sonia is an upcoming model with a dark and mysterious past. Sophia is Ranvir’s stunning secretary with secrets of her own, and, one who has eyes only for her boss. But her attempts to win the man over are in vain as Ranvir has fallen head over heals in love with Sonia.
But Ranvir’s younger brother, the very evil and sly villain, realizes that Sonia would be his salvation. He confesses to his dear ‘bhaiya’ that only Sonia could be the potent force that could save him from alcohol and wasting away his life.
His dear elder brother, who is extremely noble hearted and giving whenever it comes to his ‘chota bhai’, decides to sacrifices his love for the betterment of his brother. To save Rajeev from treading the path of hell, he lets go off Sonia. Rajeev who believes in making hay while the sun shines, makes Sonia fall for him. Deep, deep love it seems at first, but this is more like love with ulterior motives.
Rajeev has other plans for both his elder brother and his ‘love’ Sonia. And then, there is the murder. It is murder most foul but the modus operandi of the execution seems childish.
This is how the story opens. As it proceeds, at first it shocks you, then emotions proceed to bafflement, and then surprise. After a point, one has been exposed to so many twists and turns, that the movie no longer shocks you; it confuses you.
The movie had the potential of a great thriller, but unnecessary songs at untimely moments in the film spoilt the film. In fact, at times, the songs make a complete mockery of the movie.
Two other characters in the movie are Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy. Anil Kapoor plays detective ‘Robert D’Costa’. His antics in the movie are nothing short of lame. The seriousness, wit and intelligence of a detective are the very traits his character lacks. Even a rookie detective would have been better in the way he interrogates the people or handles the case. Also, Anil Kapoor tries hard to copy Brad Pitt’s always munching on food act from the Ocean’s trilogy, and fails miserably.
Sameera Reddy plays Mini, his attractive but dumb secretary. If blondes are considered to be dumb, Sameera Reddy’s character proves that brunettes can surpass the blond level of dumbness. Anil Kapoor and his cocky jokes and Sameera Reddy’s stupid questions and comments are what dominate the latter part of the movie. The jokes are so bad that even the acronym ‘poor jokes’ seems a mild way to describe them.
Had the movie been devoid of all this nonsense, it might have satisfied the requirements of being a thriller. But then, it is a Bollywood thriller so such follies are forgiven.
Akshay Khanna delivers an applaudable performance. Saif Ali Khan’s act is also pretty apt for his role. Katrina Kaif tries hard to break away from her sugary sweet image to emerge as a sexy seductress but fails miserably. Bipasha Basu does justice to her role. Sameera Reddy’s overacting skills deserve a standing ovation. Anil Kapoor seems less like a detective and more like a jester.
The action sequences are good and the background score adds to the pace of the movie. The music of the movie is pretty popular, considering how all FM and TV channels play the soundtrack without tiring.
A little bit of editing would have made the movie a lot better and perhaps keeping the songs at bay would really have made Race the thriller that it was supposed to be. In short, Racy Race with its pacey pace will leave you in a daze!
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