By Jyotsna Kumar

This duo took this dialogue very seriously, which was delivered ages back by a veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha- Kahaani mein twist! Yes! I’m talking about the ‘safedi ki chamkaar’ endorsers- the director duo Abbas- Mustan.

They think they are unpredictable. Audience can’t read their minds and that’s when I feel they need to redefine themselves. Dear ‘Men in white’ sorry to say this, but your films are becoming predictable. And your audience can sense that.

Players execution is no different from Race. The only difference is the plot. It’s the remake of the fast paced, 2003, action-packed thriller- The Italian Job, with heavy dosage of songs and melodrama.  Yep! Players is a Hollywood remake with Punjabi tadka.

The  plot is about the great, grand, gold robbery executed by the criminal mastermind Charlie (Abhishek) with the help of best players – a hacker (Neil), an illusionist ( Bobby) a bomb specialist (Sikander), make-up guy (Omi) and the beautiful engineer (or whatever her profile was- Bipasha). And in between you have Vinod Khanna, Sonam, Aftaab crying out loud for credit.

The perfect plan turns into a sinister one by a greedy someone in the team. The film is filled with plot within plot, where each player is trying to out do the other.

And thank god for the music… wait! I’m not done yet. Thank god for the music because it’s the only time you get your ‘loo’ breaks. Otherwise songs have nothing to do with the script or melody per se. And same goes for melodrama. Why Bollywood has a ‘keda’ to measure every act, background story, situations with songs and emotions? I mean here you have rights to rip off a perfect Hollywood action thriller, then why? Seriously, why on earth you have to use your brainwaves to improvise the script with ‘nautanki’ emotions? Please! Give me a break and curb your emotions!

Sonam and Bipasha both struggle for their screen space. Makes it difficult to understand who plays the second fiddle here. Both also add confusion to the hackneyed romance triangle by the way.

Abhishek, it’s high time you move on from your wise guy with smirk and stubble image. This role is something you can even play in your sleep (Read Dhoom, Dhoom 2, Game). A humble suggestion sirji! I think it’s not a good idea the way you are carrying on with your image.

Poor Sikander and Omi- my condolences to you guys! Though, you tried your best with your antics to step a foot in this cluttered brigade. However, Omi did have its moment and cracked a crackling one- Kahan hai sona? Itni khaali jageh hai so jaao kahin par! But unfortunately, Omi aur Sikander se zayada toh Johnny Lever ko footage mil gayi…and one can only wonder why?

Vinod Khanna – the young, dashing star of 70’s was disappointing. Though I don’t blame the poor guy, the age was not on his side after all. But as Dharmpaaji once said– it’s not about the age, it’s about the mileage! So on that ground dear Mr. Khanna, no mercy for you. Buck up with actors who are your age!

Bobby, the only guy with genuine emotion. Pain- Written all over his face. Aptly so, after his acting career is far from over.

Neil did his best. But at times was superficial and phony.

There’s a rule in economics which says- Keeping other factors constant. I think with Players Abbas –Mustan sincerely followed that rule. Because police, Interpol, various intelligence agencies were almost ‘gaayab’ from the film soon after the robbery. However, what this director duo attempted this time fairly was to deliver a stylish thriller that got managed through slick helicopter shots and editing. By the way, the scenic beauty of Russia and New Zealand were very much compromised in the film.

All in all Players is a safe bet. It does enough to keep you occupied, toh dekh daalo yaar!

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