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38.75%
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Upperstall Review

Synopsis

Official Site


99

 

Hindi, Comedy, 2009, Color





On the run in Mumbai from the cops out to bust their duplicating SIM card business, Sachin (Kunal Khemu) and Zaramud (Cyrus Broacha), steal a mercedes and bang it up. That car belongs to a local goon, AGM (Mahesh Manjrekar). Kuber (Amit Mistry), a fixer in Delhi, introduces Rahul Vidhyarthi (Boman Irani) to AGM in Mumbai and Rahul loses a huge sum of money to AGM gambled on a cricket match. As Rahul, separated from his wife Jhanvi (Simone Singh) for his gambling addiction, avoids his calls, AGM who has Sachin and Zaramud working for him to pay him off for destroying his car, sends the two to Delhi to recover his money. At the hotel they stay, Sachin, who has dreams of running his own cafe one day, meets Pooja (Soha Ali Khan), an employee of the hotel whom he convinces to be part of the going ons...



Unlike the characters of 99 who manage to go beyond 99 and score that elusive century in their lives, the film does not. Not by a long way. Barring the odd funny moment or scene, the film is tacky, amateurish and limps to just about a watchable last 20-25 minutes but by then it is too late.

Nothing quite works in the film. The only time the film shows any attitude is the opening title sequence after which things go steadily downhill. The story is a fragmented series of not so funny scenes and there is no cohesivenessin the overall narrative. Sad, because looking at the story and the issues like match-fixing examined, the film had scope to be a pretty interesting and yes, even funny ride. But an unimaginative screenplay does the film in, which has you shifting restessly in your seat.

The film suffers from a lack of cinematic craft. There is no sense of how to enter a scene, build it up and most importantly for a comedy, when to exit from it. It is unable to sustain its length and needed maybe to be 90 minutes at best. Just about the only scenes that work are those involving Kuber (Amit Mistry) and his sidekick Dimple. True, as mentioned, the film does pick up towards the end but...

Barring Boman Irani (not at hisbest but still easily towering over rest of the cast)and Amit Mistry (genuinely funny), the performances vary from being average (Kunal Khemu, Mahesh Manjrekar) to irritating (Cyrus Broacha) to non-happening (Soha Ali Khan) to plain indifferent (Vinod Khanna).

Technically, there is not much to add either. Is this the same Rajeev Ravi, the cinematographer who shot Chandni Bar, No Smoking and Dev D? But then it all depends on the director(s) and how they've conceived the film. The sound design and background score too fail to take off and the film could have done with some drastic trimming on the editing table.

All in all, avoidable.

 


Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan


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