Neither I as an American nor my Indian friends seem to enjoy much the efforts of bringing Western flair to Bollywood movies. Case in point: Players.
And I am not saying Bollywood should never and under no circumstances embark on remakes of Western movies. For instance, I enjoyed We Are Family over Stepmom, Taxi 9 2 11 over Changing Lanes. Indian spices topping a plain dish always add a pinch excitement and a dash of the unexpected. So I wasn’t overly concerned reading that Players ‘shared’ elements with The Italian Job. Turns out the only thing that was stolen was what stood out in The Italian Job. The gig with the three Minis and a safe. I am no car expert, so I don’t know if those were Minis… besides, shouldn’t they have called the movie the The Russian Job? Whatever. It just doesn’t work. We want Indian movies, not Indian movies feeling like American ones. If we see a Bollywood movie, we want them somehow to be authentic and Indian to the core. Not even in India those type of americanized films score big. Why bother?
Now my five cents about Players.
First of all, Abhishek Bachchan for being BigB’s son gets almost as much heat as Chetan Bhagat for being a successful NRI in India. I feel for Abhishek having constantly to fill the shoes of his iconic dad. I loved him in Dostana. He was great in Guru. Why is everybody criticizing him? I don’t get it. But all be said, he is best in roles he BELIEVES in. Charlie wasn’t exactly one of those even if he pulled off some spectacular stunts, which I truly enjoyed. I am not surprised anymore when I read that he walks around his home with injured digits, neck back or whatnot. The buoy is in pretty good shape and he tries so hard. A for effort.
I liked the first half of the movie. It was entertaining. OMG, Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor are exquisitely beautiful. They make the air sizzle in circles when the camera is rolling. Not everybody seems pleased with Sonam but I happen to love her elegant, understated and easygoing performances. She brings soulfulness with her bambi-esque eyes to the characters but always plays it cool like cooliyo. She is trendy, gracious. Anil Kapoor must be a very proud dad…well, I would be.
I don’t want to get into critiquing the movie, I want you to see it for yourself cuz, hey, with all the piracy going on, Bollywood needs your money but I would like to say one thing: car or other chases that occupy 90% of screen time are TORTURE for the viewer, especially female ones. I think it’s safe to say that the whole row in my cinema started praying in the second half that the bad guys should die already! I couldn’t help myself but napping off during these never-ending chases. I even missed ( the pretty much unimpressive villain) Neil Nitin Mukesh’s demise. Therefor, in all actuality I am not qualified to review
But I went with my newly-formed Bollywood movie group and the unanimous consent was about the second half of the movie: boring.
In supporting roles Johnny Lever shined in a stereotypical Johnny Lever role. Omi Vaidya on his heels as worthy Johnny Lever successor. Bobby Deol was pretty good, too. Liked him better here than in Dostana.
here is the Imdb page. Now go and have fun! :-)