I admit, I was prepared for the worst. In India, Tezz didn’t turn exactly into box office gold and I dislike 90% of action movies, unless they make me laugh and time zooms by fast.
India’s action movies until now unfortunately have been built largely around premises of older Hollywood productions, much like a dismantled Lego set, rebuilt with the same blocks, just reshuffled. Tezz was no exception. In the first hour of the movie, and if you know your american action flicks, you’ll get hit by stonehenge-sized deja-vus. The flashbacks which should have brought the scattered pieces of the narrative together were clumsily spread throughout the movie, not answering the fundamental question WHY? what’s motivating the antagonist Aakash (played by Ajay Devgn) who wants to blow up a train between London and Glasgow… Who can stop him? Anil Kapoor by any chance? in his role as Arjun Khanna, from the anti-terrorism squad who doesn’t have to fight only terrorists but also racial biases on the homefront. Boman Irani? who is playing the train traffic controller and pretty wasted in that role… Who can deactivate the bomb that was never installed?
Supporting cast Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy. Poor Zayed Khan, who is trying so hard to make it in Bollywood and whose feet never seem to lift off the ground, career-wise, has a chance here in this movie to show how amble these feet can be.
Kangana Ranaut, as Aakash’s wife Nikita, shows none of her sexy assets that we came to love in When Tanu Weds Manu… She appears in the beginning of the movie but her fate is unknown til the last 15 minutes of the movie, when she reappears not to impress but to weep a lot.
Another big letdown were the extras, as usual. Could they have helped the movie? maybe a litte bit. I mean, Bollywood, I beg your pardon, CASTING DEPARTMENTS! Come On! isn’t it getting old that all the white dudes look like nerds and act like jerks? :-) they speak English with horrendous accents.
What is this movie all about, we ask. Turns out that the central idea is not hardened criminals keeping a nation in suspense by threatening to blow up a train with 500 passengers.
Latter yes, somewhat. We remain only marginally involved in what it means to the passengers, the train conductors to know there is a bomb threatening to blow them up. We get to know only the security officer on the train and a young girl who is the daughter of the central train traffic controller. Her role fizzles out in the end. We never see her happily reunited with her parents, which is a typical little BW glitch.. characters who have been built up all for sudden disappear in the frantic pace of the movie.
No, the central theme is deportation angst, a revenge drama, raging against daddy- in- law and the justice system that pushes illegal immigrants to the limit. Innocent Indian ex pats with no recourse to legal naturalization procedures but who want to make an honest living in the UK are mercilessly chased and deported. Huh? and therefore building up enough stamina to want to cruelly blow up a whole train, to get money to start a new life, to pay for someone’s surgery.. (the poor blind guy tapping around his hospital bed and spilling out secrets, revealing the identity of Aakash, who is smart enough to have designed intricate Plan As, Plan Bs, Plan Cs… with none of them turning out so good, but who forgot to tell the guy to shut up. Who was the blind guy anyway? I already forgot. His and Nikita’s story remain a little foggy but does it really matter in an action movie?
so, okay, let’s recap. You are a nice guy. You are smart. You are in love. Your father in law doesn’t like you. He makes your life miserable. He rats you out. You end up deported. Now you come back and want to blow up a train to get rich and you hate the country? Man, I don’t know…. :-)
I f you ask me if there is anything at all I liked about the movie… Hai. The chases were really well done and kept up the speed of the movie. Indian villains are the best. In Hollywood productions a villain is usually a villain and will always be a villain. You are glad when the hand of justice grabs him by the neck and a million bullets pierce his chest at the end of the movie. Not so in India. Bollywood gives you the lovable antagonist. You don’t really hate him, do you? Yes, he might do wrong but his intentions weren’t all so bad, at least not sociopathic from the getgo. He went astray. He started out being a nice guy and he dies a nice guy. And who has it in his heart to hate Ajay Devgn anyway?
I love my Bollywood villains. They can be black and white in their actions but in between they come in all shades of grey. Before your Bollywood villain goes down there is always the glorious moment of redemption. They always remain human. Aakash here is no exception.
Malika Sheravat lit up the screen momentarily with her item number.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song Tere Bina, illustrating Aakash’s better days with wifie Nikita, was my favorite film moment and cut off too early.