Review - Short Kut: is long & falls short of engaging

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

Slapsticky elements completely overshadow the promise in characterization. The willingness to experiment with plot is marred by the inexplicable need to bollywoodize the details.

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Wogma Review

How ironic. A movie that makes a comment on the prevalent systems in the Hindi film industry gives us a complete dose of slapstick, clichés, glaring loopholes, songs that don't belong and the works. And this is despite making a few smart and snide remarks. It talks indirectly about audience's taste in films being dictated by the star of the day. About how a non-actor can reign "Bollywood". It talks about the way things work in the industry. That it takes a lot of struggle to make it big. That goodness or ingenuity is not necessarily awarded. But then there are unbelievable events like the entire population of a rundown building lends miraculous support to the protagonist. Or the lead lady who's a successful actress has no say in decisions regarding her personal life. Are these formula sub-plots a comment on commercial cinema or are they gaps in the script - we'll never know. Or is "bollywood" their excuse for making one patchy film?

And despite these flaws there are some very interesting plot twists in the film. The kind that put the characters in dilemmas and conflicts that require extreme steps to be resolved. Shekhar (Akshaye Khanna) reaches a point where a decision that is pretty much out of his control is forced upon him. When he's not ready. A decision that pretty much makes it 'love of his life' vs. 'his career'. Manasi (Amrita Rao) faces two extreme types of people in her life. People who want to take every advantage of her affluent position and people who can't bare the thought of doing that. She is a good girl and yet she makes an extremely selfish move.

All facets of the film industry which might also reflect on any other community are touched upon. From the naturally malicious to the converted cruel people. And then there are well-meaning people who try to play mentor but first take care of themselves. Such is life. And Short Kut captures it well.

The lead actors do a decent job of portraying their characters too. Akshaye Khanna comes across as the righteous and egoistic, male chauvinist that Shekhar is. So far I've seen Amrita Rao play non-glam roles. Seeing her skimpy clothes feels like seeing a child grow into a woman. Two old men lech at her offended me. But she came across as someone who can take care of herself. Exactly like Manasi.

Arshad Warsi is the exact amount of annoying in his portrayal as the shallow, uncouth b@$!@&*. I could have easily done without the parts where he gets too loud to be tolerable. Which reminds me of the unique sense of humor one needs to see Chunkey Pandey cast as an acting Guru! The rest of the side characters are best left alone. They are too garish and caricatured to be funny. They in fact make the film seem much longer than it actually is.

Also the film drags quite a bit. Had the slapstick and drama been left out it would have been very good riddance to bad rubbish. And it would have saved a lot of stock, money, and time of both the makers and the audience. Imagine the man-hours that will be spent in watching all the extra ugly frills.

For some the best short cut would be to skip the film. For others who care for interesting conflicts and characters might want to give it a shot. But a forward button might come in handy when the not-so-interesting parts come. They do come a bit too often.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A couple fist fights
  • Language: Nothing offensive.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Skimpily clad women dancing.
  • Concept: Malicious villain taking advantage of friendship and goodness.
  • General Look and Feel: Neat and crisp. Sprinkled with songs.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 1
  • Dialogues: 1.5
  • Screenplay: 1
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2

Short Kut - Movie Details

Short Kut - Trailer

Comments (3)

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meetu:

@TimELiebe Interesting analysis! For the record, i look forward to Akshaye Khanna films. And as far as "do they share this "lots of juicy acting at the expense of the plot" problem...?" i didn't notice this as a trait specific to films produced by Anil Kapoor. Think of any Akshay Kumar film or even Aamir Khan film, for instance.

meetu:

@TimELiebe hmmm...I'm sure that happens all the time. You paid him, you better get the most out of it. :D Or even otherwise, it just sells. We think it drags because we are more 'plot-oriented' people. But, there are others who give lesser importance to story/plot. Interesting question would be - if there is an actor you like, do you feel that he/she is dragging it?

meetu:

@TimELiebe oh no-no, I get it. :) And agree, not too often have actors succeeded in directing. Maybe, we should make a list

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