The International Movie Review

A IndTiger.com venture

Race – High on action and style!

Posted by harino1 on April 12, 2008

After a dry spell at the box office primarily due to school and college exams, comes the release of one of the most awaited films of the year. Tips Industries, the producers of the film have put in so much dedication and moolah to assure the masses that they see a flick that looks international.

The director duo, Abbas-Mastan returns with yet another thriller, but this time around a flick that is sleek and high on style. After over 6 years of waiting, the duo finally does a film with Saif and is it worth all that much?

Well to take off, the film revolves around two brothers; Ranvir [Saif Ali Khan] and Rajeev [Akshaye Khanna] who own a huge stud farm in Durban, South Africa. They breed horses on their huge ranch house and are also the biggest bookies in the horse racing circuit. Ranvir, the elder of the two, is known to be a very shrewd man. He is very aggressive and is always on the move. Rajiv, on the other hand, is very laidback and is also a chronic alcoholic.

Sophia [Katrina Kaif] is Ranvir’s personal secretary. She adores her boss and loves him. Ranvir is totally unaware of her feeling and regards her adoration as her efficiency. Sonia [Bipasha Basu] is an upcoming Indian ramp model in Durban.

Sonia loves Ranvir, but through a twist of fate gets married to Rajiv. When she discovers that Rajiv is a chronic alcoholic, things begin to get worse.

Eventually, Ranvir and Sonia come very close to each other and an affair starts between the younger brother’s wife and the elder brother. When the younger brother starts suspecting his wife, all hell breaks loose.

A murder is committed, a contract killing is issued, double crossings become the order of the day… A sharp-tongued investigative officer R.D. [Anil Kapoor] starts an investigation with his brainless assistant Mini [Sameera Reddy].

Abbas- Mastan have proved it over the years that no one can beat them when it comes to the thriller genre. With films like Khiladi , Baazigar , Humraaz ; Race might just add to their list of hits. The film has several twists and turns that keep you saying ‘oh’ and reanalyzing everything so that bits and pieces of the story fill in to form the collage called Race.

But one little factor that has to be noted is that as the duo directors attempt to make things complicated and shock the audience , they just kind of lose out on the whole plot and this con man film at the end makes the viewer wonder when did certain characters team up to plot against the others.

The screenplay of the film by Shiraz Ahmed is good but at times is loose. The 1st half of the film is quite a drag and the songs look really forced upon. Next time around, Abbas-Mastan should consider chopping some tracks. Maybe this time they couldn’t do so considering their producers are Music giants.

On the acting front, the film truly belongs to Saif. Saif looks stylish, smart and carries the adrenaline in the character perfectly. His dialogue delivery is just amazing and the action sequences considering he did them all by himself is just commendable. Watch out for Saif’s jump from a great height. It’s terrifically done courtesy Allan Amin.

With due credit to all the actors in the film, Race wouldn’t be all that racy if it wasn’t for Saif. Watch out the dialogue where he addresses his younger brother on the funda of winning-losing and on the outcome of betrayal where he blows up his jockey’s car.

Akshaye Khanna does really well too. Abbas –Mastan always emerge in bringing out the negative traits in Akshaye with ease. The wickedness in Akshaye is expressed well with his smile. But the only problem here is that Akshaye has done such roles before for Abbas-Mastan thus there lacks a certain amount of shock value.

Bipasha Basu isn’t all that great. Her acting skills haven’t really been explored. It’s more of her sex appeal that has been tapped in film. Bipasha’s styling somehow fails to leave an impact; her outfits do nothing more than provide the viewer some eye candy. But credit goes to Bipasha for doing some great action sequences in the film.

On the other hand, Katrina Kaif emerges victorious. Her acting isn’t the finest around but much better than her previous flicks. She carries the secretarial role with complete elegance and ease. In fact, her styling has been sleek and apt. She carries that executive look as well as the sexy attire with ease.

Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy make an entry at the interval stage. Anil is ok as the cop, but trust me his jokes are really poor. Even the characterization with different fruits at various points in the film fails to create any impact. Sameera Reddy has nothing much to do in the film besides try and ask some stupid questions. Sameera too has just been used to create the so called ‘Sexy Look’ of the film.

Johny Lever comes in for one scene and really impresses and is spontaneous with his jokes. He surely deserves more comic roles.

The true winner of the film is none other than action director-Allan Amin. He is just terrific and it’s his action and stunts that really justify the title of the film. Amin impresses with the well choreographed explosions, Saif’s fall, edgy car stunts etc. Amin is the true star of race.

Cinematography by Ravi Yadav is top class as the film captures well the horse races, car stunts, beautiful locales of Durban and Dubai etc. Editing by Hussain Burmawala’s is ok. Maybe a few songs could have been chopped.

Dialogues [Anuraag Prapanna, Jitendra Parmar] are good. Styling [Anaita Shroff Adajania] works for Saif, Katirina , Anil and Akshaye.

Music by Pritam is Ok, but often comes in as a hindrance to the plot. Most of the numbers fail to leave that impact on screen especially Kim Hyung Sup’s-Sarang Haeyo track rendered in Hindi by Atif Aslam. The picturisation is so kiddish ; with just a single interaction you see Akshaye Khanna whose voice firstly doesn’t suit Atif already kind of romancing Bips. ‘Zara Zara touch me’ and the title track impress. Background score [Salim-Sulaiman] is really intense and adds to the action. Choreography [Bosco-Caesar and Ganesh Acharya] is good.

On the whole, Race isn’t the best thriller around but the action is sure to keep you hooked on. Saif fan’s will surely not miss this one. The chances of race not faring well at the box office is unlikely as it’s been a while since the cinegoers had any releases and this flick is sure to appeal to the masses. If not for the action and music, the pretty ladies in the film will assure a hit.

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