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For those of you who don't like long rambling movie critiques I'll give it to you in a nutshell. Watch this movie till the intermission and then run for your life. Because as much as the story will engross you in the first hour it will literally kill you as you watch further.
Abbas-Mastan the "director-duo" has made a movie that is basically a carbon copy of their previous movies as well as using some silly Bollywood gimmicks of the crazy nineties. If you've watched their movies before then you'll know that this is a fast paced suspense thriller with twists every five minutes and characters who are all shady. There are so many twists in this movie that its hard to keep count. Murder, sex, betrayal and money - the four pillars or Abbas Mastan movies are in here and you have to wonder what these two think of themselves and their audience when they keep churning out the same formula every two years. Come on guys ... at least be creative.
The plot revolves around two brothers, Saif and Akshaye with Saif being the older, who are involved in a horse race outfit somewhere in Durban. Saif, the mature of the two has feelings for Bipasha Basu who incidentally is also the object of affection for Akshaye. Saif in an attempt to curb Akshaye's drinking problem sacrifices his love and steps aside as the two flirt their way into marriage. Meanwhile Saif has a secretary Katrina Kaif who harbors a secret crush for her boss which he mistakes as affection. Throw a murder into this outfit and you have an investigating officer Anil Kapoor who in turn is adored and worshipped by his assistant Sameera Reddy.
Put in a few twists, boil it for a while and you have Race.
The fact that I named the actors playing their respective roles and not the characters will tell you how disgusted I am with this movie. Race has potential and if the above plot had been presented in a slightly different manner we would have had a blockbuster. The first half is actually quite good with at least one good twist. Anil Kapoor comes in at the intermission and then everything goes to hell.
What is this man doing? He's a fine actor but why does he keep taking roles that portray him as some intelligent genius who cracks one liners and really poor sex related jokes ? He is horrible to watch in this movie. Every scene of his is embarrassing. The jokes aren't funny, his lewd approach to women aren't funny, his appearance isn't funny and he does not really add to the plot. Add to this travesty of screen casting is Sameera Reddy who plays his assistant (???) in skimpy clothes and no brains. All she has to do is keep reminding the audience that she works for a genius and strut her stuff. That is it. If there was any character you had to take off from this film, it has to be her.
Katrina Kaif is another failure in this movie. Oh yes she's gorgeous with some really sexy legs but in the name of everything that is good and holy will everyone please stop telling me that she's the next big Bollywood actress. While I wont doubt the fact that she can act (Namaste London for ex) she falls flat on her face in Race. Her role is of importance to the plot but somehow all she does is walk around in mini office skirts and smile. Her one scene of sorrow is pure torture.
Saif, I think, is trying to break his image as the confused romantic comedian and he does well in a new role. Bipasha too does justice while Akshay breezes through a role he has done quite often in the past. However they are all let down by an awful script and some really corny lines. At one point in the movie a character says "girne aur marne mey bahut fark hota hai" which when translated means : there's a difference between falling and dying.
Well ... DUH !!!
While there are no plot holes which left me mildly surprised there are a number of goof ups particularly in the geography department. The story is set in Durban, South Africa but when Katrina takes a coke out of her refrigerator, the Arabic letters of "Coke" can be clearly seen. (Due to the fact that half the movie was shot in Dubai Media City) And the climactic race scene goes through three countries, namely: South Africa, UAE and India. This particular sequence is so stupid that one car driving through the desert goes through a tunnel and lo, behold when he comes out he's on the edge of a cliff above a thick dense forest.
That is just plain insulting the viewers intelligence.
There is one great highlight in this movie. A one minute sequence featuring the veteran Johnny Lever. I've not been a great fan of this comedian but I must admit he was a pure gem in his brief scene. It's so great that its sad to know that something so well done had to be placed in a movie so bad.
Give Race a miss. You wont regret it.