Review: Go

Posted on October 6, 2007


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Hero and heroine flash their gym-toned physiques, but that can’t save the dumb film they’re stuck in.

OCT 7, 2007 – AFTER WATCHING THE LATEST UNDERWHELMER from the Ram Gopal Varma Factory – this one’s titled Go, though, if there was any justice in this world, it should have been called Go Anywhere But Into A Multiplex That’s Playing Go – I’m quite convinced that Nisha Kothari and her gun-toting goons are holding hostage a key member of the Varma family. “Cast anyone else as heroine in your next production,â€? she probably warns the once-hot filmmaker each time he plans a film, “and… dishkyaoon.â€? If there’s another explanation for why – besides the undeniable pots of money she shaves off the wardrobe budget – she’s become a fixture in the Factory productions, I’d like to hear of it.

She plays Vasundhara in Go, and in a desperate early attempt at character delineation, director Manish Srivastava has her ploughing through a textbook titled Principles of Physics. But for all the smarts Vasundhara displays through the rest of this supposed action-thriller, she may as well have had her nose buried in the latest Cosmo. Go is one of those movies where the heroine is just a pouting, squealing sidekick, a bimbette whose main job is to look good while running in slo-mo – though, in deference to our equal opportunity times, there’s an equal amount of shirtless, slo-mo running done by the hero Abhay (gym-toned newcomer Gautam Gupta, tinseltown’s latest exhibit in the contention that you cannot dream of becoming a star these days unless the audience can count up to a half-dozen in the ab pack.)

Just how senseless and tasteless is their love story? Allow me to present the example of the scene where Abhay enters Vasundhara’s bedroom in his T-shirt and briefs. This state of partial undress is because he’s there looking for naada for his pyjama. (The naada, evidently, is an unknown construct in the male universe; only women, apparently, stock the stuff by the cupboardful.) Let’s get beyond the obvious question – did he walk all the way to her apartment in just his undies? – and see where this scene goes. (And you know where this scene is going, right? It’s simply a Gen Y update of the bit in our old films, where the hero would, on his way to work, find the topmost button of his shirt missing, and the heroine would stand in front of him and stitch it in, lovingly biting off the tail of thread that remained.)

So Vasundhara finds the naada and tosses it to Abhay, and he protests that she has to thread it through the pyjama. (I know this has already begun to sound ridiculous, but bear with me; it gets better – or worse, depending on how you choose to see it.) After she complies, you think he’d just pull the darned pyjama on and leave – but no! He insists she has to help him put it on. (I mean, is this man capable of doing anything? He appears to be a walking, talking reminder of how Lyndon B Johnson described Gerald Ford: “He can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.â€?) And so she kneels in front of his bare, inverted-V legs, and her mother chooses this exact moment to walk in and… you can imagine the rest. I wouldn’t have minded this scene had it simply been played for laughs – raunchy laughs, as in the American Pie movies – but it’s all staged so cheesily, you don’t know where to look.

At some point, mercifully, this boy-girl love story gives way to a boy-and-girl-on-the-run scenario – not that this section is any better, but at least you know he’s in pants and will have no foreseeable need for naada – when Abhay and Vasundhara get hold of a tape that incriminates the Chief Minister of murder. Soon, they have to fend off an assortment of bad guys – from Kay Kay Menon in a straw hat (who hopefully got paid a bomb) to a hairy lout who hops on one leg, a gun in one hand, a Five Star bar in the other (and no, I’m not making any of this up). It all plays as hysterically as it sounds, and towards the end, the director actually seems to be going for full-throttle farce, touchingly unaware that that’s what we’ve been subjected to all along. By the time Rajpal Yadav turns up as a Michael Jackson clone, it’s practically a subliminal message to the audience: Beat It!

Copyright ©2007 The New Sunday Express

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi