Players

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Film: “Players“; Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bipasha Basu, Bobby Deol, Omi Vaidya, Vinod Khanna, Sikander Kher, Johnny Lever; Directors: Abbas-Mastan; Rating: ***

They say birds of the same feather flock together: Charlie Mascarenhas (Abhishek Bachchan) and Riya (Bipasha Basu) are partners in conning and daredevil robbery.

As a last gift, Charlie’s friend Raj (Aftab Shivdasani) reveals through a CD the possibility of a heist. “Ten thousand crore rupees worth of gold would be transported from Russia to Romania.”

Raj warns Charlie that this heist, an improbable feat, is not a one man job. He would need a team to execute it and the only person who can help him put up the team is ace thief Victor Braganza (Vinod Khanna).

Victor assembles the players – Riya, an expert machinist, Bilal Bashir (Sikander Kher), an explosive expert who likes foreign cars, Ronny (Bobby Deol), a magician, and Sunny Mehra (Omi Vaidya), a make-up artist. Naturally, the captain of this team is Charlie Mascarenhas and their goal – The Gold.

In today’s age, with the complexity of the internet, the team lacked a hacker. Victor’s daughter Naina (Sonam Kapoor) unsuspectingly offers help by suggesting ace hacker, Spider (Nitin Neil Mukesh), to the team.

In the show of one-upmanship, what follows the heist is a game of con and deceit at every moment of the film. For humour, there is MC (Johnny Lever) and his family.

Sleekly made with fine action, crisp razor sharp edits, speeding cars and exciting photography giving you glimpses of scenic Siberia, Amsterdam and New Zealand, the film reminds you of a Bond film.

The leggy babes with leotard and boots, the guys with stubble and leather jackets, the palatial villas, the elongated limousines, the long car chases, the heist on the train – everything looks glossy and out of this world.

The racy background score by Sandeep Shirodkar and the soundtrack by Pritam creates the adrenaline required for a thriller but unfortunately the well-intended choreographed numbers breaks the momentum.

Ravi Yadav’s cinematography and Husain Burmawala’s editing are worth a mention. Technically, Abbas Mastan have churned out a very fine movie.

Unfortunately, the film delivers without any emotions. It is evident that the actors have not put their soul to the characters; they have just walked through their roles. And it shows. The glycerine and the pancake take the applause.

Sikander Kher seems to have some promise. In certain scenes, Sonam reminds of Simi Garewal. Vinod Khanna, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Abhishek’s performances lack energy. Omi and Johnny Lever are stereotyped with their comic dialogue delivery. Bipasha has nothing new to offer and Bobby Deol is wasted in the minuscule role.

Touted as the desi version of Hollywood film “The Italian Job”, the script sticks to the basic plot but is unable to get into the recesses of its characters.

“Players” is a synthetically made formula thriller. It does not touch you emotionally. But a good watch nonetheless.

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