Vikramjit Singh likes to craft beautiful images. No wonder that his film deals with art and an art thief that no one can put a face or a name on. His compositions are exquisite. Even the ‘Smoking Kills’ message that our government forces us to display on scenes depicting a lit cigarette is written in eye catching font. Kabir Grewal (Arjun Rampal) is a filmmaker riding on single character oriented films – the aforementioned art thief – updating it with sequels shot without completed scripts. Oh well! Even the DVD main menu of his last hit Guns II has its ‘Play’ displayed on a gun barrel. Singh comes across as an unpolished Bejoy Nambiar. While the latter can add style and substance to well directed stories and scripts, Vikramjit Singh seems to be the third twin in his reflexive story. One that has landed up on the sets without a script.
There are couple of stretches in the first half when Singh holds your interest. He doesn’t play all his cards rightaway and that helps the film along the way. At rare times makes it compelling even. But the problem is when Singh starts believing his film is deep. Once he’s given away the dichotomy between the lead characters it’s one long excruciating scene after another. Singh cannot write lines that can grip you to your seats. It’s like the Shahid Kapoor character in Jab We Met telling a legal advisor, “Aap kitna baat karte ho yaar! Bahut mazaa aata hoga naa, aise baat karne mein!”. But it’s not even in the same zip code as fun. These characters talk and talk and talk and what comes out is only hollow and empty. There are at last five instances in the second half where the movie could have ended but no, Singh will make you sit through more pretentious mumbo-jumbo that only goes around in circles.
Neither is Singh good with character consistency. He develops Jacqueline’s Ayesha as this intelligent filmmaker who can call out Kabir’s arrogance and pretension for what they are but suddenly she’s swaying on the streets of Malaysia hopelessly in love thanks to some expensive champagne. Your eyeballs will fall out at this stage. If not just try thinking about why Ranbir Kapoor would have agreed to do this walk in part.
(An edited version of this was published in The New Indian Express)