'99' a tangy take on match-fixing

Film: '99'; Cast: Boman Irani, Kunal Khemu, Cyrus Brocha, Ali Khan">Soha Ali Khan, Amit Mistry, Vinod Khanna; Director: Raj Nidimoru & Krishna DK">Krishna DK; Rating: **

Sunday, May 17, 2009   |  Copyright: IANS  |  Comments 6 Comments  |  5291 Views

Film: '99'; Cast: Boman Irani, Kunal Khemu, Cyrus Brocha, Ali Khan">Soha Ali Khan, Amit Mistry, Vinod Khanna; Director: Raj Nidimoru & Krishna DK">Krishna DK; Rating: **

After almost two months of aridity at the theatres one is happy to straightaway take the plunge into the never-ending wonders of la-la land, also known as the silver screen.


'99' is not the film you'd have liked to see after such a long period of deprivation.


99 Movie ReviewWhere you'd want a big burp-inducing pickled and pappadomed thali, '99' serves up a tangy appertif that you can nibble with pleasure but not quite sink your teeth into.


This is a sorted-out sly swipe at the cinema of Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone where violence is satirised into a quirky comic capricious crime caper colonised by characters who are losers by instinct, nonetheless endearing in their defeatism.


The film takes some time to settle down in its groove. The first half an hour is a zonked-out mess with the co-directors indulging in a smirky we-know-it-all game of camera cockiness which leaves us exasperated.


The characters, like the wacked-out crime-dud Mahesh Manjrekar and the two petty criminals - Kunal Khemu and Cyrus Brocha - begin to make sense once they move to Delhi. The two are sent to collect money from a perennial fiscal misadventurer played by the ever-dependable Boman Irani with an urbane anxiety that teeters on neurosis.


Boman's performance, in fact, overrules all the film's flaws of which there are many. His part as an incorrigible gambler and a walking-talking financial disaster is so well-etched and enacted that you wonder if the film is just a pretext for this hugely talented master of nuances.


That the film is assembled with a level of professionalism and a certain amount cleverness only helps.


Amit Mistry (have we seen him before?) as a wimpish money collector, also on the trail of poor Boman, is again a performer who imbues the goings-on with a sassy splendour that the material doesn't quite justify.


But then at least '99' with its swaggering commentary on match-fixing and middleclass over-reaching is an original piece of work, if not a classifiable work of art.


There is enough evidence here to suggest that the people behind the endeavour know what they are doing. They go about the business of creating a universe of crime and comedy without either glorifying or ridiculing the characters.


We are the way we are, and what could be done about it? That's the underlining text of this tangy, flavourful often funny but not fully developed plot.


As a famine-breaker it serves its purpose. We are made conscious of how far Indian cinema has come from the time when crime never paid.


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  packeer, sweety_ursh, Inspector Sahib, luv_pavi, taibaaa, -Preeti-
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  • Posted on: 17 August 2009 at 8:31pmriturajpankaj

    this movie had made up only at couple of occasions
    1) when both described "people at Delhi", and
    2) when they got the girls with same names as they thought earlier..

    rest is all not even close to interesting..

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  • Posted on: 16 June 2009 at 9:30amInspector Sahib

    thanks for the review

  • Posted on: 10 June 2009 at 11:44pmalstarneo

    Its just alright

    I expected a lot more but the movie is just about OK.

    www.alihassanlive.com

  • Posted on: 05 June 2009 at 8:24amjosh135

    2 stars only??? yy its was such a good film...total fun..it was a very good movie,funny n witty dialogues n yeaa it was a bit different(starting credits was amazingly done very different ull love it)..2nd half was more fun ...Everyones acting was superb!!!!! 3 1/2 stars for sure.

  • Posted on: 19 May 2009 at 12:21pmanjalirpai

    pretty decent fare

    itna bhi bura nahi tha!!! quite funny infact.....
    a timepass movie

  • Posted on: 18 May 2009 at 4:17amanjalipranav

    oh come on... its a very funny witty comic film and find its script flawless... and very good performances by boman, amit n even kunal..
    its a hindi drama and i m sure if its some hollywood one, all critics wud hv given 3-4 stars... not done yaaar

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