Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, January 6, 2012

Players: 80s Masala Mixed With Soggy Italian Pasta

"Get ready to die," says a blonde girl with a gun on Abhishek's head. Sonam Kapoor gets into action and flats out the bimbo with her "right hand" ka asar. For blondie, I'd say, how the hell did you forget the mantra, 'when you gotta kill, you gotta kill, don't Talk'. Players is filled with such eightees style goofy antics, that beyond a point, bore you immensely. Also, the twist mein twist mein yaaaaaawwwwnnn twist tests your patience. And yes, Rohit Jugraj's attempted-dhansoo dialgoues fall flat.

Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna) is shot in his back. Daughter Naina (Sonam) hugs him. Victor is shot again. But the shooter is so careful that Sonam shouldn't be hit at all. Wah! The 'Players' run riot on the streets of New Zealand, blowing a busy street, driving the Minis in the no-driving area, conveniently breaking the gate of a super rich Mansion etc etc and not a trace of Police obstructing their fun-n-'games'. Was it part of the New Zealand subsidy guys? The prolonged dialoguebaazi between Neil Mukesh and Abhishek slows down the proceedings. You feel like shaking them up, 'get down to some action guys...please!' The needless triangle between Sonam-Abhishek-Bipasha has such a dated feel to it that it bores you further. To add to the 'fun' there's a horny Russian military office who sings 'Mera Joota Hai Japani' in an inebriated state. Russia's ultimate ode to India I guess. Can we invent some more? How about Disco Dancer? I believe Mithun created a big flutter with that film in Russia.

I saw the film in a sparsely filled cinema hall. And yes, there were moments where the crowd cheered lustily. The actual robbery in Russia (even though its over dramatised and silly) elicited lots of whistles. Bipasha's fleeting Bikini wave drenched the soaking-men in the theatre and even the climax on Minis (there are several rounds of it) made the audience feast on the thrill in the neatly choreographed car chase. The camerawork by Ravi Yadav is first rate.

Abhishek Bachchan looks out of shape and his deliberate attempt at oozing laidback coolness doesn't work. There are two scenes where Abhishek plays a Gujju guy and he is bloody good in those scenes. It is high time Junior Bachchan accepts where his 'real' acting talent lies. Each time he plays a well defined character (Guru, Yuva, Dostana), he is first rate. I guess Mr Bachchan ought to stop retweeting those sugar coated goodies on Abhishek. Instead, he must point out Abhishek's strengths and ensure that he hones them damn well.

Bipasha looks great but does nothing that may add punch in her filmography. Sonam displays a bindas attitude with a flair for flaunting her sensuality and comic timing. Bobby Deol sleepwalks through his role. He looked disinterested and his bored expression reminded of the discomfort that he has before media interactions. Omi Vaidya is funny and so is Johny Lever. Neil Mukesh shows spunk as the mean villain though he goes over the top in the second half. His mansion and the way he operated it, somehow reminded of Shakaal (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) from Shaan. Editing by Husain Barmawala is a mixed bag. The editing chops are suave but the film should have been shorter by at least 20 minutes. Music is uninspired. None of the songs stand out.

If you don't have anything better and are open to a willing-suspension-of-absolute-disbelief then you may try out Players. Its a half hearted blend of the desi 80s masala with soggy Italian pasta.

Star Rating: 2 stars.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone


  1. Amazing review Faridoon Sir! I am watching this on Sunday, I hope I like it.

  2. Thanks Mehak...looking forward to your feedback...don't hesitate to disagree with me


  3. (and we Italians HATE soggy pasta, bleah!)

  4. Well..so much for that idea..lol. As always you are straight to the point..no messing around. Another one to add to my DVD list should NetFlix pick it up *that would be a miracle*. Sometimes I think JrB. has better comedic timing than he does anything else. Have seen the movies you mentioned Delhi 6 being the first of his. Have read some reviews by others and they were kind to him. suffice to say he is still trying to I dont want to say 'figure it out' He's just being himself.I guess. Some might not like your review but to be honest..It was fair.

  5. Hello Faridoon! Firstly Happy New Year! Wishing u n ur family a great new year with loads of love n happiness!
    I actually have been looking forward to watching Players more than Don 2 coz I loved the Italian Job and also love all Abbas Mustan movies! I always like reading you reviews as they matters so this is the first bad review I have read! But i guess we all have our own opinions but hope i do like the movie and will def let u know my feed back. Have a great weekend :-)

  6. Hey Celeste, i was on holiday when Don 2 released, couldn't write a detailed review, though i did mention my thoughts on the blog briefly. its a fun film. Thanks Margaret...you should see Abhishek's films like Guru and Yuva and see what a fine actor he is. the attempt at being the conventional bollywood hero lets him down...so far...i guess he must play Characters...thanks Priya...Happy New year to you and family...do lemme know what you think of players and don't hesitate to disagree :)

    Cheers all

  7. I have seen both Guru and Yuva. I think its the scripts..they just arent in the ballpark. I dont think its his acting skills at all. He has the same genetics going for him. And Ive seen the Italian Job & the Micheal Caine version too..Mark Walberg has come a long way too... Not that anyone is imitating anything. But its amazing to me the comparisons made between HW and anywhere else. We have our share of turkeys too..maybe just as much as anyone else. Lately Ive gotten back into action films like Shoalin..a Jackie Chan movie called Little Big Soldier..if you want to see massive scale film making check these out. Jackie Chan translates through his acting on the screen across the board. Even at the end of the LBS there were a few outakes shown. It was hilarious and I dont even understand chinese..

  8. Yes Margaret, i agree, language is not a criterion for appreciating a movie. Visuals have a language of their own. Try Satyajit Ray movies if possible. He created some masterpieces in Bengali language.


  9. And while we're on the subject..will you put up here Dabboo's calendar launch?? I'm thinking thats where you're headed :-P

  10. One thing i will never understand... when Abhishek's film does well, then people start saying the credit is to the director and the story, its not Abhishek's credit at all... But when the film doesn't do well, no matter how many cast members there are, no matter how bad direction or screenplay is... Its always Abhishek's fault... Why is that? its because people just LOVE TO HATE HIM... its his surname that is the major issue with most people... If any film or project is a failure, its because of everyone involved and not just one person...

  11. Mr. Faridooooooooooooon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Pls, can you in the future video-interview only Kay Kay Menon but in English????? Plsplspls!!! It's SO difficult finding his interviews! If Bollywood Hungama is non interested, pls, can you do that for your blog (and for Kay Kay fans, specially for MEEE)???? Plsplspls: I LOVE HIM!!!
    Waiting for second part. Hope Chaalis Chauraasi is top class! Waiting for your review, too!
    BACI !!!!

  12. I saw players and while I didn't like the movie much I didn't dislike it nearly as much as you did. I have absolutely no issues with things like the shooter only shooting victor dada or other loopholes/lapses in logic for the sake of convenience. I'm from the school of thought that it's a film, itna to chalta hai. I completely agree with you though about the performances and the fact that the dialogues meant to sound cool come off as corny which is my issue with the film. Anyway looking forward to more reviews from you. On a side note, love the new site because now I can watch the videos from my iPhone, couldn't do it on the old version of Bollywood hungama.

  13. Anonymous, when Abhishek performs well, credit goes to him as well as the director...it has always been given... i don't know if anyone has a problem with his surname or not...but i most certainly don't...i hold Mr Bachchan in very high esteem. Abhishek is a fine actor, but yes, if you are doing a macho film, you better look in shape...(he doesn't in Players)... Players is a shoddy product and everyone's to be blamed, includng Abhishek

    Hey Celeste, this interview with all these guys is a long one, we will be featuring other parts as well. Atul has spoken in English only. For you i will try and write down whatever he said in a blog... Cheers!!!

    Kevin, I never said that i disliked the film. When i dislike a film, i make it very clear. But yes, at 3 hrs, its a slow paced action thriller with too many twists and turns... you may not have issues with victor dada shooting fiasco, i have...and i respect ur opinion, u respect mine... really glad that u enjoy the new version of BH on IPhone... There's lots mopre coming up


  14. Thank youuuu!!!! Soooo kind of you!!!!
    (Please: Atul, AND KAY KAY!!!! Love Atul very much, AND LOVE KAY KAY EVEN MORE!!!!)
    Have a nice day!

  15. Here's the 2nd part of the interview you want Celeste



    1. Thank youuuuu!!!
      Just seen. GREAT!!!
      (Now waiting for CC review...)