Players - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

A bunch of non-actors pull off heists in the remake of The Italian Job. And there are new twists of course! It's an Abbas-Mustan film after all! And yet it is not as bad as the promos look.

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Wogma Review

Is Players, The Italian Job? It is. But, it is not. Then it is. And then again, it is not. Because, after all, it is an Abbas-Mustan product. The twists and turns turning into more turns and twists is a given. The lawn tennis that the characters play with their loyalties is also expected. You wonder whether the makers are screening a joke on themselves as the good thief and bad thief mock each other for being predictable. So what if we might not be able to make out which one of the four characters is the mole? We know one of them ought to be, and that is predictable enough, dear directors.

So, there is no sitting on the edge of your seat business. There is no thrilling chase that has you wrapped around itself. But, I must admit, that some of the twists made the plot a little more interesting, even if it was only for a few minutes. Players is also a lot less dramatized than I anticipated. And it is, thankfully, less stylized than the trailers made it out to be. But, that isn't saying too much, is it? I expected it to ooze substance-free form in every frame. So, it's not like you are going to miss the slo-mos nor is there a dearth of pauses after every third word for dramatic effect.

And since that's pretty much intentional, what chance do our actors have to give a decent performance? Not that we have too much hope left from this set of actors. A quick reminder - Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bobby Deol, Sikander Kher. It is a shame that I have not a good word to say about even Bachchan Jr. The rest are aging only worse with every film. And boy, did they over-estimate Neil Nitin Mukesh's potential to deliver a non-standard role.

The only reasonable actor in this ensemble is Omi Viadya who is comic-relief incarnate. A couple of one-liners have brilliant timing, and that's all it takes to remember him. The whole theater laughed out loud at a joke which has been done to death on sms/facebook/what-have-you! That's how remarkable Omi is.

But, like any other Abbas-Mustan film, you are guaranteed some exotic locales that are shot beautifully. A slick movie, Players surely is. In fact, they've chosen not so often visited Russia and New Zealand, and have gone as close to the North Pole as a film crew can go too. The sound also contributes in making you feel like you are a part of the action. There were a number of scenes where you can feel your seat pulsing with the beat. Yet, Hindi action thrillers are miles away from their Hollywood counterparts, despite having smart action and camera work. They lack originality. They remain just that - remakes of other films.

The problem also is the directors' strong belief in adding masala to suit the Indian palate. I don't get the insistence on adding song and dance, lackluster at that! Nor do I understand the rationale behind going out of the way to include comedy amidst tense drama. Just because it makes me laugh, it doesn't stop it from becoming a distraction from the flow of the story or a particular scene. And it only adds fidgety minutes to the run-time. One of the things that I like about The Italian Job is that it makes a team out of strangers because they have a common enemy. And fortunately, Players doesn't lose that flavor. Alongside there is a tidbit of romantic undercurrent. It's a good thing that it is kept in its place and there isn't much ado about it. Abbas-Mustan, of course, also add the extra load of twists. Only this time around there is a relatively better attempt at tying loose ends.

Players might work a slight shade better only because the expectations from it are so low. Watchable not must watch, like many other films running on TV.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of gun and fist fights
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of songs with skimpily clad women. A couple of scenes with seduction.
  • Concept: Thief outdoing thief. Heist.
  • General Look and Feel: Bright and pacy.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 2
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 1.5

Players - Movie Details

Players - Trailer

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Comments (4)

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vinay:

Another rip off of a good movie. But the good part is they have honestly declared this as a remake and made it officially, unlike Sanjay Gupta's copies of Reservoir Dogs and Old Boy.

Guddu:

Meetu your review is very genuine and fair but i think the movie is not that bad compared to recent release as your verdict says.@Vinay yeah Sanjay Gupta's Kaante was indeed termed by tarantino as finest remake although being a unathorized remake .

Sadda Adda:

Bollywood is now very addicted to remakes in name of inspired movie. I seriously don't like the this concept.Why don't we can have a original movie story . Every time i look for Hollywood movie for a good story .

meetu:

@Vinay @Roy it's always going to be a tough call between badly made legal remake vs. well-made illegal copy.

@guddu i think that's what i just said, it is ok. i don't think it should be trashed all together.

@sadda adda :D

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