Crook: A lost cause

Director: Mohit Suri
Producer: Mukesh Bhatt
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Neha Sharma, Arjan Bajwa, Kavin Dave

MUMBAI: Crook: It Is Good To Be Bad is a typical Mukesh Bhatt film where the hero has no scruples and would exploit anybody or any situation to his advantage.

The hero, Emraan Hashmi, is an ordinary liar whose father was a smuggler who unwittingly imported the RDX used in Mumbai serial blasts. While he is confessing his crime like a petty pickpocket (who he looks like, anyway) to Police Commissioner, he is shot by the latter; this is Emraan’s justification for being what he is, a petty and selfish man. To call him crook is glorifying this character.

Emraan lands in Australia on false papers and passport (why?) as a student. While he is seen indulging in everything, from wooing a desi girl to charming an Australian pole dancer, he is never seen on a campus! He wants PR, Permanent Residence, status in Australia and for that he needs to marry an Australian citizen! He is sheltered by a Punjabi group headed by one Goldie who runs taxis and soon it looks as if Emraan had sheltered Goldie and his boys! The group also believes in keeping out of racist attacks on Indians in the country. It even goes on to show the local police hands in glove with the attackers!

Thirty minutes into the film and you know it is a lost cause! Nearer end, you don’t even know if this was a love story or a racist issue based film you were watching!

If Emraan Hashmi has been counting on luck to be in films, he is smart because acting is not his forte; and talking of luck that too seems to be running out on him fast. Neha Sharma is okay. Arjan Bajwa is effective. Gulshan Grover, playing a sub-inspector in a hawaldar uniform, has but two scenes. Rest of the crowd is passable. Dialogue is pedestrian. Music is below par. Direction is average.

Crook: It Is Good To Be Bad is a confessional title; it is a bad film!

Do Dooni Chaar has a paper thin theme


Director: Habib Faisal
Producer: Arindam Chaudhury
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor, Aditi Vasudev, Archit Krishna

Do Dooni Chaar is about a middle class Punjabi family of four; Mr Duggal (Rishi
Kapoor), Mrs Duggal (Neetu Kapoor) and their two teenage children which have to try all the tricks in the book to juggle their monthly budget to make ends meet.

Rishi Kapoor is a school teacher who also teaches at a coaching class to add to his take home. Just when the Duggals feel they have a surplus of few thousands, there is sure to be an unexpected expense. This being a Punjabi family and Delhi, the culture is to show more than one possessed.

Rishi Kapoor owns a run down rickety scooter which is a subject of ridicule for his students and own kids alike. For the Duggals, things and their meagre finances go out of control when they borrow a neighbour’s car to go to a family wedding to nearby Meerut. The car is dented, the Duggals are insulted and humiliated by the neighbour and, in the heat of the moment, Rishi Kapoor declares to his neighbourhood that he will have a car outside his doors too within 15 days!

What follows are various ploys employed by the family to work out monthly instalments and, when that done, only to realize that they still needed to raise the 60,000 for down payment. From buying cartons of detergent promising a car as first prize to money for marks in exam paper are the various options.

While Do Dooni Chaar brings back the romantic pair of 70s, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor, to screen as middle class parents, the problem with the film is that it has a paper thin theme and revolves mainly around four characters. It has very ordinary gags and fillers to generate interest of the viewer at any point of time throughout its length. While the family chemistry almost works, the kids’ tracks don’t and resorting to imagination every so often and narration of the story from the daughter’s point of view shows lack of penmanship.

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor excel with the young actors, Aditi Vasudev and Archit Krishna, matching the veterans with natural flair. Director uses his observations well. Music is no help.

Do Dooni Chaar is too slow and a family in pursuit of realising a dream to buy a car looks too unrealistic and a 60s middle class idea to jell with today‘s audience.

Lava Kusa has a limited appeal


Director: Dhavala Satyam
Producer: Rayudu V Sashank
Studio: Kanipakam Creations RVML Animation

Lava Kusa (2D-Animation) is a colourful animation film about the growing up years of Lava and Kusa at the ashram of Sage Valmiki.

The twins, oblivious of the status of their mother, are trained in all aspects of warfare. Sage Valmiki has penned Ramayana and the twins are also taught to hero worship Rama. On the occasion of the Ashwamedh Yagna, the twins accompany Sage Valmiki to Ayodhya where they sing in praise of Lord Rama.

However, they soon learn that Lord Rama had treated his spouse Sita unfairly and evicted her from the palace as well as Ayodhya in a pregnant state on the basis of insinuation of a local washer-man. Raged at this injustice, they march out of Ayodhya and stop singing praises of Lord Rama.

Lord Rama proceeds with his Ashwamedh Yagna as the white stallion bearing the banner of Ayodhya marches through the country claming allegiance from various kings whose kingdom the Ashwa passes. It is when the Yagna stallion enters the sanctity of the Valmiki ashram that it faces resistance; it is stopped by Lava and Kusa and its escort, Shatrughan, the brother of Lord Rama, is neutralised. Laxman, who comes to check the situation, is also not successful. Eventually Lord Rama himself decides to defeat Lava and Kusa, unaware that they are his sons.

The film, looking at its treatment, is aimed mainly at kids with its song picturisations and war scene with the army of squirrels, monkeys, rabbits, tortoises, a giant falcon and magic fruits and magical arrows shot at each other.

Lava Kusa as a film story has a limited appeal since except for the confrontation with their father, there is little drama in their life. Script also has some contradictions and though the music may have cost 10 per cent of the film’s reported total budget of Rs 250 million, there is not a single song that may help prop up the film or become a favourite with children.

The biggest drawback is the language used; it is highbrow Hindi, which sounds alien even to grownups.

Prospects: Very poor.

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