Director: Sanjay Gadhvi
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan, Minnisha Lamba, Vidya Malavade
Storyline: A young man holds the richest Indian’s daughter captive and gives him a set of tasks and deadlines
Bottomline: Reveals way too much to keep you guessing
“This is a kidnapping. Maine tumhe kidnap kiya hai,” announces Imran trying hard to look like a badass. Minissha giggles in response and so do we.
First, the basic premise of the film is covered in a bikini for most part. So there’s nothing much to guess there but it is fun nonetheless to watch Minissha cavort around in water.
Secondly, the guy holding the basic premise of the film captive hardly looks like he could do serious damage. So there’s nothing to fear when he says ‘Mujhe Revenge Chahiye’ like it’s some new cocktail at the bar.
Finally, the father of the basic premise of the film is the richest Indian alive, which means it shouldn’t be that hard for him to get away even with murder. So it hardly seems like a challenge when he is asked to get to Panvel in 40 minutes because he could’ve easily taken his private chopper or better still, had the lady he’s asked to meet air-lifted.
This film ought to have been called Charity instead of Kidnap for more reasons than Minissha’s service to the deprived. What do you call a man who cooks for you, does your dishes, takes you to pristine beaches for a swim, makes you revisit your childhood home, gets you designer clothes and even cuts your finger nails (and Gadhvi accompanies this with tense music so that we’re scared), brings your divorced parents together and reunites you with your father over the phone, without any financial motivation? In some countries, he’s called the husband.
So when Imran does all of this and you are expected to believe he’s some mean kidnapper, you can’t smile at the innocence of this good Samaritan.
The rat giving the cat something to run for may sound like an exciting sequence but not if you consider that the stuntmen, for the sake of creating a chase, decide that instead of just having one run after the other, have both of them climb a building under construction. For what joy? For a parkour demonstration, of course.
In between these tickles, there’s Vidya Malavade deciding to test our willing suspension of disbelief skills. As Yummy Mummy to Minissha, she also tries to convince us that she can go to a prison all alone in the middle of the night and pass off as a human rights activist on a surprise check. With those clothes, she’s probably fighting for the prisoner’s need for glamour.
For those who care, the storyline goes that a former juvenile delinquent gives a set of tasks accompanied with clues written as bad puns to nursery rhymes for an old man with a paunch. The script thus solely relies on these tasks for the thrills.
The tasks include robbery, jailbreak and murder, all excuses for set-piece action sequences.
At no point does it seem like the situation would chaotically spiral out of control. In fact, evil is conspicuous by absence in this film that doesn’t really want to let its characters slip into dark territory. There’s sexual assault that’s withheld, an interesting premeditated murder twist that gets cancelled as an afterthought, a romance that the makers are scared to explore and a divorce that gets conveniently resolved.
It’s like Gadhvi and Shibani Bhatija do not want to get the drama to get too loud where characters yell ‘Bloody Bastard’ (honestly, that would’ve actually worked in this film because ‘You Arrogant Man’ hardly reflects any serious emotion) nor do they want the drama to get too complex and messy with shades of grey.
Dutt is supposed to be grey because he’s arrogant and Imran is grey because he wants revenge is all that they can come up with and that is certainly not enough to create even an iota of drama or intrigue. Certainly the half-hearted Zinda, though shamelessly ripped off from ‘Oldboy,’ has more character than this wannabe thriller.
Yes, the attempts at slickness by use of English punch lines do sort of make it sound like a bad Hollywood film. Must we add, spoof.
Imran Khan is all right in a few scenes where he has to look menacing but comes across as outright silly when he’s trying to sound threatening. Dutt like always acquits his part with great sincerity but prison life seems to have taken a toll on his fitness. Minissha, for a girl who has to carry the film, gets by with very little.
Maybe at gunpoint, Kidnap will hold you captive.