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For whatever you may accuse Race 2 of lacking.., you cannot accuse it of lacking two – a certain clarity of vision and two- an almost anxious ambition. The movie is very clear ,of what it wants to be and is eager , earnest and at times desperate in it’s pursuit of this goal. It starts out ambitious , trying to be better than it’s ideal ..then as time goes on, starts falling behind in the race…and by the finish line , it becomes a distant also ran. It somehow reminded me of one of those races between Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna in the earlier Race. The younger brother loses here too. But then unlike Akshay , full marks for earnestness . And yes , this younger brother is  much more stylish and much better looking. So what if he has lost the race , he still looks cool.

                The director duo , man , do they love themselves some Race!!!  They were very clear throughout as to what they were making. They were going to make another Race. So , they decide to retain many of the elements of the earlier movie , that seemed to have worked for it. A convoluted plot , a bearded Saif Ali Khan , a “trying hard to be funny” Anil Kapoor . Some elements , while retained look different – the bimbo – Amisha Patel for Sameera Reddy .. a “lat lag gayi” for “touch me touch me”. Some elements they seek to add – models masquerading as actors- guess who. But note that no elements have been replaced or removed.  We still have bomb blasts  stunning locales and gyrating hot bodies. But somehow , the overall effect is , well , kind of a let-down. The movie tries to ape the earlier movie so much , that it ends up botching it up. All that happens is you are constantly reminded of the earlier Race. So , it is like a younger sibling , failing to meet up to the expectations of their parents like the elder one did.

               But then , the younger one looks more handsome and dresses much better. That needs to be said of the movie. Except for Anil Kapoor and Amisha Patel , the main four actors , look good. The leading ladies are hot. The men look good. Bodies are either chiselled or toned. The locales are even better than the earlier Race. If one were to watch the movie frame by individual frame , one could be forgiven for thinking that , they were shoots for  some magazine cover or a shoot for some ad. Because the actors , behave less like actors and more like models. The women don’t walk , they sashay. The men don’t walk either , they swagger. Everybody wears expensive clothes , drives expensive cars and lives in expensive houses and ofcourse throw expensive parties. Except for the fact that , they are criminals , this I guess , is high society.

             There is a plot , ofcourse. It is convoluted. And unnecessarily so. The directors try so hard to surprise us with the “twists” in the plot , that you get annoyed at times. And they don’t exactly turn out to be twists either.

               The characters are dull. Each character in the earlier movie , was interesting , had a part of their own to play in the story and played it well. Here somehow the treatment of the characters makes you feel , that there is a lot that is missing.

Saif Ali Khan , “Is race ka sabse purana khiladi” ,  is bearded yet again and is decent and adequate.

John “Stone” Abraham , looks like a model and acts like a moron.

Anil Kapoor , has nothing else in life going on for him. In Race , he had entertained , here – he annoys.

And the ladies – Oo La La …not Amisha Patel ..the other two. They are hot , they dance well and they don’t act. And I am not complaining.

All in all , not as good and as interesting as the earlier Race. But , to be fair, a decent watch.

So , if you don’t mind watching good looking people on screen in some stunning locales , set amidst a lukewarm plot , go ahead – it is not bad a way to pass the evening.

3 out of 5.





Anjaana …Anjaani  is a movie about two people , Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra  and their endless attempts at killing themselves off. When they fail to succeed in these attempts , they get bored and decide to fall in love. Ofcourse, Priyanka does not realize it till the end -that she is in love -and needs a host of cinematic cliches thrown at her face , including a supportive ex-boyfriend , who of course , according to the prevalent rules of Cinema , takes it surprisingly well. There are also the ever present small coincidences , that remind her of Ranbir Kapoor . Then only does she realize the strength of her passion.  Ranbir Kapoor proposes in the end, needless to say , Priyanka agrees. Also , the scene is set in apparently freezing water, which somehow is supposed to be funny . I cant remember how,though.

Ever watched a movie , that starts out interesting and seems to have some potential? And then have you watched in dismay , as slowly the movie deteriorates to the point , where it is just a puddle of  shameless cliches from  many movies past? And also have you watched , two perfectly good looking and talented actors , who seem to occupy almost 95% of the screen time , wasted away? It is quite sad , I must say. And  if you want to witness it , go watch this movie. Because thats what this movie is , a waste – a waste of talent , and a waste of what perhaps could have been developed into an interesting story.    To make it worse , given the deterioration mentioned earlier , the movie comes off as pretentious.

Ranbir Kapoor is a ..well ..enterprenuer , in the film. It is not clear what he does , except that it has got something to do with the stock market. He is supposedly aggressive , too aggressive for his own good. He mouths stuff like “Higher share price means more profit” and “Us company ko khareed lete hain”.  Having established his business credentials thus , he proceeds to take a business loan from a bank. The stock market crashes , and he promptly decides to die. It is not exactly clear why , because , his other partners , do not seem to be doing the same thing. Anyways , he decides to jump off a bridge , and that is where he meets a much drunk Priyanka Chopra.  Apparently she also wants to die , andfor some inexplicable reason ,  she keeps distracting Ranbir , as he tries to jump off the bridge. They fail in the attempt , and land up at the hospital.

They , then escape from the hospital , go to Priyanka’s home , and try to die again. They , fail again, because , otherwise , it would have been a very short movie. That is when , they decide , that they would try again after 20 days , because , apparently all these failed attempts at suicide , warrant such a waiting period. Why could not it be interpreted as a sign to live instead of trying suicide in another 20 days , one cannot understand. Directors ofcourse , have poetic license , and not questioning , their conclusion , lets move on. And , ofcourse , they decide to spend these 20 days together . For a while , we are not clear why Priyanka wanted to die in the first place. Just when , you are about to decide , that she is generally of a suicidal tendency , her story is told. By that time , you dont really care. Anyways, Ranbir first falls in love with Priyanka. Priyanka , ofcourse being a girl , retains the prerogative to be confused about her feelings. She thinks she is still in love with the jerk of an ex boyfriend , when she is with Ranbir. And when with the ex -bf , she thinks she is in love with Ranbir. And luckily for her , both are  so  understanding, that one cannot help suspect if they really like her.  And ,then finally on the same bridge , they met first , they ofcourse also decide to get married. Then , the movie ends with the cliched’ joke that marriage is as good as suicide.

Frankly , I thought the movie started off on an interesting note. And I thought , that perhaps , it would turn out even more interesting. While it was quite predictable , that these two would fall in love , may be they could have without using so many cliches. At one point in time , you feel that the director is bored with the movie. Why else , does he keep throwing all the cinematic cliches , that were ever in existence at us? And so what you get as an end product , is a terrible mish mash of , pretentious , cliched , head ache inducing cinema, which seems to have too many songs.

Both Priyanka and Ranbir , have acted quite well in the movie. Both of them seem to have a certain ease to their acting , a sort of fluidity , and would have been a treat to watch , if the story had been better told. Ranbir particularly , is a find . He has shown  that he can act and the spark shown in Rocket Singh , continues. And in comparision , with the very wooden Imran Khan , he scores any day ,in the acting department. This man has potential , clearly ,for much bigger things. Priyanka , has also done well . Both of them also seem to be easy and relaxed around each other. I wouldnt call it chemistry , but yeah , they looked good together. Unfortunately , the characters are not very well developed. And it is surprising , if one considers the fact that , there are hardly any other roles , with a combined screen time more than 5 minutes . So much time on the screen , and yet , the character development ,somehow doesnt seem quite well.

There are also too many songs in the movie. As I said , the director was bored and clueless , towards the end , and he decided to fill the movie with cliches and songs.

So , thats the sad tale of the terrible strangers . Watch it if you have nothing else to do. Avoid it , if you can. I give it a 1.5 out of 5 .

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