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Upperstall Review




Hindi, Action, Drama, Thriller, 2010, Color

Cast And Crew

Directed by
Produced by
Presented By
Executive Producer

Suraj (Emraan Hashmi) is packed off to Australia by his law abiding uncle to shield him from the bad reputation his father has left him to deal with. He reaches Melbourne, falls in love with Suhaani (Neha Sharma), the sister of Samarth (Arjan Bajwa), who is upholding the cause of racial violence against Indians in Australia. Suraj gets embroiled in the racial attacks controversy while dealing with demons from his past and has to decide to take a stand or just be a silent spectator. He does take a stand leading to more complications and outcomes he never expected...

Crook is not about a con man involved in underhand dealings and/or crime. Hashmi has already played out those parts in past successes like Murder (a crook planning a perfect murder), Jannat (a crooked cricket bookmaker) and the recent blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (a crooked gangster), so why this film was called Crook and what was Hashmi's character's sneakiest act, apart from fake documents (uncle's fault) and a bad family name (daddy's fault), beats me!

The film looks at the issue of racial violence against Indians which started headlining newspapers close to a year ago, with brutal acts of wrath, which lots of fellow country men were subjected to week after week. Crook is director Mohit Suri's take on the issue, with the focus being on the blame game that the Indians and Aussies got into. Each blaming the other for cultural clashes, encroachment of territory and general discomfort with the end result being random acts of violence. Kudos to Suri for taking up the somewhat fading, but in our face issue and setting a commercial film around it, laced with the love at first sight story along with living in self denial. Both Hashmi's Suraj and Arjan Bajwa's Samarth are hiding from the truth of their lives and that takes up most of the second half culminating into a somewhat justifiable end. Through the film, Suri touches quite a lot of issues like those of illegal immigrants, of living in oppression, and the quest to find one's Permanent Residency abroad.

The first half passes by establishing Hashmi's supposed crookedness, his flimsy North Indian gang in Australia and establishing the hostile environment Indians are living in, in Ozland. The film does kick off in the pre-interval portion and keeps up its momentum till the end. It's not like a hardcore solution is offered in the end or the deep psychological reasons for extreme violence are explored, but at least Crook tries to address and present an issue as honestly as it can. It seems tacky at times, trying hard to entertain at others, has much cheesy dialogue, but does put its money where its mouth is.

The film has two sincere enough central performances from Arjan Bajwa and Hashmi. You do feel that Bajwa's motivation could have been better explained, though, while Neha Sharma is quite out of place and does not bring much to the table.

Crook is not a Housefull or a Dabangg and coming at the start of the Navratri season leading upto Diwali, it might not be the dose of entertainment to kick start the festive season, it may not be the most finely nuanced or polished piece of cinema, it also probably has not been promoted right, but it is one crooked, dramatic ride (in not a bad way). Oh yes, it does have a fantastic climax song (Pritam-Hashmi, again!), and I am sure that going by the Bhatt business model, must have broken even already. Lets leave that to our trade pundits and our audience to decide!

Upperstall review by: flyingrodent

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