A TOTAL WASHOUT
At the cost of sounding rude, do directors actually watch Abhishek Bachchan emoting in those tight close-ups they frame him in on their video monitors? And if they do, don't they burst out laughing at the unintentionally funny expressions he throws up, particularly when he's supposed to be anguished, hurt, or in the throes of passion? Then, do they rework their shots to make him look less unflattering? Evidently not. And he's been in the business for 11 years now. Ad filmmaker Abhinay Deo, on the other hand, has played his first hand at making feature films and turned out a plotless wonder called Game shot in many snazzy international locations and thoroughly devoid of substance.
Or suspense. Yet, we have a magnificent Greek island with a wonderful mountain-top red brick mansion reminiscent of the Vandamm House in Hitchcock's North By Northwest. But it's just a prop, as is dazzling Istanbul a city of such visual beauty, it's probably worth watching this film only as a tourist's guide to the historic capital. Unless you're in it for gun-strutting Kangna Ranaut (still of the same awkward speech) playing stern cop again after Knockout. Or Shahana Goswami sporting gothic black eye-shadow throughout. Or -- hold your breath -- for the pleasure of watching Boman Irani at his hammy worst as a Thai politician. Really, an Indian guy who speaks Hindi is all set to become the Prime Minister of Thailand? Why? What for?
Because the filmmakers, in their innate wisdom, wanted to make their version of a slick thriller shot in several countries, all of them peopled by Indians. So, while Irani is a sleazy Thai politician, Abhishek Bachchan is Neil Menon, a nightclub owner in Istanbul who owes the Columbian mafia tons of money and hence must either run for his life, or find a way to raise the sum overnight. Anupam Kher, on the other hand, owns the entire island of Samos in Greece and for reasons that are meant to be highly portentous, orders Bachchan, Irani, Goswami and Jimmy Shergill who's a famous Bollywood star, to his private island to confront them about past misdeeds.
Something happens on the island and Ranaut arrives to unravel the mystery, which gets more and more convoluted in the name of plot twists in the second half -- there's even the case of someone attempting suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in London (didn't know London houses had such fans). None of the characters provoke any curiosity and hence which of them is a murderer and why they're all chasing one another across various exotic destinations is a matter of no interest to the audience. There's a lot of money at stake as is usually the case with whodunits. But the resolution is pathetically lame.
For a suspense thriller, Game has to be one of the most absurdly slow-paced films of all time. Barring some superior cinematography by Kartik Vijay there really is nothing going for this one.