Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knock Out movie review: Phone Booth on a Wednesday

Knock Out is a mixture of two of the best movies of Hollywood and Bollywood, Phone Booth and A Wednesday. Though the producers may deny that it has nothing to do with Phone Booth, people who have watched the Hollywood movie will think otherwise. But after interval, we know that there is our desi tadka too in the film.

Story of Knock Out: In today’s times where a phone booth is an extinct item, we have a swanky one here, with plush interiors and guess what, a bullet-proof pane! So, we have an investment banker (Irrfan Khan) instead of Colin Firth (who played a model coordinator in the original) entering a phone booth to make calls from a PCO so that he cannot be traced. There are millions in his car that he has stashed away. Just as he is about to go out of the booth, he gets a phone call from an anonymous caller(Sanjay Dutt) who makes his life impossible by saying that he has to be in the booth or he would kill him. It seems that Dutt is hidden in the opposite building and has trained his eyes and gun on him.

The police and the media come swarming to the place, just like the way it was in the original version. But here, we have an eye-candy of a journalist, Kangna Ranaut, who irritates everytime she speaks. We later come to know that Sanjay Dutt is just like our ’A Wednesday’ man (Naseerudin Shah) who has problems with our ‘system’ and the fact that politicians are looting our country and revenue.

Plus points about Knock Out
The exchange of words between Irrfan Khan and Sanjay Dutt are funny and thrilling. If you have not watched the Hollywood version, you will love Knock Out, especially in the first half

Minus Points about Knock Out
Knock Out has the body of Phonebooth but the soul of a Wednesday. Like Naseeruddin Shah, Sanjay is also a nameless character in the film. Like the 2008 hit, Sanjay also manages to fool the cops and keep his identity a secret. But compared to that one, this one is preachy and dragging. Also Kangna Ranaut’s role falters heavily and a journalist dressed as a tart definitely sticks out like a sore thumb. Kangna’s worst performance, if this was her debut film, she would have been written off, for sure. Her performance is exaggerated and her accent is misplaced. Also, the movie  is pretty one dimensional and a lot of possible tense moments are cheesed off without much of an impact.

Performances in Knock Out: Director Mani Shankar does the unthinkable, makes Irrfan Khan over-act. Still he is fine in some scenes like the strip-tease scene. Sanjay Dutt sleep walks through , his trade-mark Dutt swagger does the jigs for him. Kangna is not the right choice, for that matter, that role should haven’t been created in the first place.

Conclusion: Passable fare


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