Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif ,Sameera Reddy
Production: Kumar S. Taurani & Ramesh S. Taurani
Direction: Abbas Mustan
Finally, much talked about film of recent months “Race” is here to entertain people. This film has already attracted lot of attention of people due to its big star cast, music (Atif Aslam's Pehli Nazar Mein) and hot scenes for which censor board has given it “A” certificate.
The second big ticket release of the year after Jodhaa Akbar, Abbas-Mustan directed Race could also become the second box office winner of the year… The race is between two step-brothers and the plot is still devised on the undying life-insurance money maneuver. One brother’s murder is other brother’s moolah. And each one is set to outdo the other. But in this race, the makers attempt to overtake your sensibilities. Check this out - in knocking off the elder brother (Saif), the younger (Akshaye) goes out of his way to manipulate a marriage with a con-girl (Bipasha), just so that he could use his spouse to push big brother off a high-rise. Seems like Abbas-Mustan haven’t upgraded themselves ever since Baazigar days where SRK indulged in a similar act. And you don’t have to be an Ekta Kapoor soap consumer to estimate that if one of the main leads is eliminated by the interval, he will come back from the dead in the climax.
Subsequently the film resorts to the trademark tricks to induce thrills. But for someone fed (or fed up) on a staple diet of Abbas-Mustan suspense dramas, it isn’t much difficult to predict at what instance will the director-duo double cross. The perceptive viewer races ahead of the director’s shock-treatment tactics and isn’t duped. After all, the scheme of one-upmanship between two male rivals has been already exploited by the directors to the point of diminishing returns in Ajnabee, Humraaz and Naqaab.
What we liked most about the film was that it kept our attention engaged for the full two and a half hours. Its plot, despite the simple and well explained settings, is predictable only in its unpredictability, right till the end.
As far as the acting goes, it was a Saif Ali Khan film. He is a good actor who has given creditable performances across genres in the past but in Race he proves that he is particularly suited for the action genre. While Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar may be better suited for romantic thrillers, Saif seems to be the best when it comes to outright thrillers. Anil Kapoor we thought was largely wasted. He was also handicapped by some poor dialogs some of which were not in good taste. If Race is a box office success, which we think it will be, Katrina should not count it as her success. Both Bipasha and Katrina showed a lot of skin and played seductresses but only Bipasha was effective doing so. Katrina would be making a mistake competing against a Bipasha. We think she needs to stick with roles that emphasize her endearing good looks and screen presence rather than her sex appeal.
Sameera Reddy played her Kitty role well but we found her show of skin unnecessary, not to mention unfortunate since she is not in good shape.
Race is reasonable enough to win a ‘not bad’ stamp. But isn’t imaginative enough to gain a ‘good’ tag.