Review of PLAYERS
“All That Glitters Is Not Gold”. May the late director Peter Collinson’s soul rest in peace who made the original The Italian Job in 1969. Director F.Gary Gray made a remake of this film in 2003.
Remaking a remake and then again remake is not every director-producer’s cup of tea. Abbas-Mustan as directors and producers fail to impress audience with first film of the year. Bollywood movie “Players” is very lengthy and boring. Trimming of certain sequences could have enhanced impact of the movie. No emotions in the movie, which shows the actors not so power pack performances.
Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) receives a CD from the widow of his deceased friend, Raj (Aftab Shivdasani in a friendly appearance. Thank God!), that gold worth Rs. 10,000 crore is going to be transported from Russia to Romania in a train. Raj warns Charlie that this heist, an improbable feat, is not a one man job. He would need a team to execute it and the only person who can help him put up the team is his role model thief Victor Braganza or Dada (Vinod Khanna).
Victor Dada introduces Charlie to a group of people with varied skills. Ronnie (Bobby Deol) is a magician and illusionist; Sunny Mehra (Omi Vaidya) is a makeup and prosthetics artiste; Bilal Basheer (Sikander Kher) is an explosives expert; and Rhea (Bipasha Basu), an automobile expert who also doubles up as a seductress. Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh), an expert computer hacker, is the only missing block since he is untraceable. Naina (Sonam Kapoor), daughter of Victor Dada and friend of Charlie, is herself a hacker, and she tracks down Spider, thereby helping Charlie and his group to establish contact with him (Spider). However, Naina is the only one who doesn’t know of the proposed gold robbery. In fact, her dad has broken the promise he had made to her about never again indulging in criminal activities, just so that he can make enough money in this one last act, to build an orphanage and school for the orphans.
Spider plays hard to get but he ultimately comes around. Detailed plans are made to execute the train robbery. Rhea (Her red bikini avatar won’t save the film)seduces a Russian official and drugs him so that Sunny can make a mask to resemble his face. On the appointed day, the Russian official is drugged by Sunny. Charlie impersonates the official, thanks to the mask. By then, Rhea has readied another train to match the speed of the train carrying the gold bars. Spider is hacking into the site of the Russians to crash it for ten minutes during which the gold bars have to be transferred from the train carrying them to the train in which Charlie’s team is travelling. Ronnie creates an illusion so that the guards travelling in the train with the gold can’t see the train running alongside their own train. Everything works according to clockwork precision including the code to open the train compartment carrying the gold bars, which has been obtained by secretly and strategically placing a camera. But things go wrong in the last few minutes. However, Charlie and his team still manage to steal the gold. There is a hitch though. One of the team members betrays the rest of the team. This leads to a series of events, which will be interesting to watch on the big screen. For humour, there is MC (Johnny Lever) and his family.
The climax is not half as exciting. The film lacks romance although there are two girls and five guys, the script doesn’t allow the romantic track to really come through. In fact we don’t know who Charlie is fond of – Rhea or Naina – is not clear. Even comedy is lacking in the film. Music by Pritam, which could have been another important pillar of the star-cast thriller, is a minus point in the film. They say ‘let the best player win’. Sadly nobody qualifies to be even ‘good’ here. Game over! Watch this movie at your own risk.