Sanjay Gadhvi has waited to make Kidnap for a long time. He had the script ready well before Dhoom and Yashraj had to pull Hrithik Roshan out of the hat for him to agree to do the sequel. Finally Gadhvi stepped out and went back to the script he passionately believed in. This little back-story would hint that the film would’ve had the substance to withstand the time span taken to realize it on celluloid. Unfortunately, it’s well past its expiry date.
What Gadhvi gets really wrong is the casting. Somewhere along the way, the people he envisioned while writing the script vanished to give way to the current cool. Imran Khan seems too young and yuppie to pull off the orphan from the remand home act; Sanjay Dutt never changes in flashbacks (the only time ‘he’ looks different is when his body double is part of the action); Minissha Lamba is aptly cast, but when her mother was revealed to be the few-years-older Vidya Malvade, the entire audience gasps in unison in disbelief. But Gadhvi has only just started on his endeavor to test how much you can suspend reality and stretch your imagination.
Sanjay Dutt’s net worth is $51 billion, that’d make him one of the top 3 richest persons in the world. Does he exude the qualities you’d attribute to someone like him? Do we see his life, his world, and his power? Nope. Just a few basic shots of fine suits, shoes and watches are supposed to do the trick. They probably shot it at Dutt’s own house. From then on he becomes an ordinary guy, thanks to the rules set by Khan. Easy. So Minissha gets kidnapped and taken to the holdout, which intentionally happens to be a farmhouse she spent much of her childhood in. At one point she insists on having a ’bath’ and convinces Khan the captor to take her out to the beach, which he does. There she sings a song for him, seduces him, and eventually pokes him with a broken bottle that she magically materializes from nowhere. She runs, he catches up and they’re back in the house. Okay. But to realize much, much after all this from inside the house that this is a place familiar to her… please, give me a break. This is just plain pathetic writing that is pandering to Shree Ashtavinayak’s music/song sequence requirements. More ‘cinematic’ liberties creep in and reach a crescendo with Minissha’s clothes. If any victim decides to dress increasingly provocatively after first getting kidnapped and then almost raped, she must be a retard or a very ambitious and focused career pole-dancer, and evidently Minissha’s character is neither. The unrealism is positively shocking.
The positives from the film? The action sequences are neat and fresh. Stunts you haven’t seen before always get the adrenalin going; Imran Khan almost pulls off a Daniel Craig from Casino Royale with the snazzy parkour stuff. The other (opposite) aspect of the film that I liked was the philosophy of it all. This is a revenge story with some depth (and yes, a difference). The final exchange between Khan and Dutt does work – but the journey in reaching that gentle zenith, Gadhvi has been far too lax with his writing. Technically, the film is passable. Art direction is ambitious but unrealistic at times. No other department stands out.
Sanjay Dutt looks weary and unmotivated. Malvade is busy preening herself and seems like a walking cardboard cut-out. Minissha Lamba dons a new avatar and pulls it off – there is a vivacity about her that went unnoticed so far. As for Imran Khan, he finds it hard to rise above the script with a plateau of a performance that doesn’t match up to his debut and can only be deemed serviceable.