wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

Game was supposed to be a thriller. One which makes you sit on the edge of your seat and bite, whatever is left of, your nails from the cricket matches. It's none of that and more. It's sluggish and I have quite a few nasty things to say about its 'style'.

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Director: Abhinay Deo
Running time: 135 minutes
Genres: Action, Crime, Revenge
More Movie Info

Game - Preview

An action thriller! I for one can't have enough of them, especially if they have world-class production values. Yes, it is important for this genre to look polished. And if nothing else, slick films is what we have come to expect from, anything that Farhan Akhtar (as producer in Game) gets involved with. Here's the sample -

But this genre is also very mean to loopholes in the script. A tight plot is imperative. If the film is based solely on the visuals, in this day and age of exposure to the best from all over the world, the audience will get a "been there, seen that" feeling.

Abhinay Deo (son of Ramesh and Seema Deo) seems to recognize this need.

What I'd like to learn is that the script is the heart of the film. This is one thing we as Bollywood lack. We work on projects and not on scripts. We put together a great cast and a great crew but nobody thinks of putting together a great script.

Game supposedly has a very twisted script. Four strangers from different corners of the world get an invite to stay on some island. And mystery ensues. It does sound a lot like Shalimar and Gumnaam. Well, we'll know soon enough.

Fortunately, this genre doesn't necessarily require too many acting skills. The actors can get away with just being presented in style. Abhishek Bachchan looks his suave self. Kangna Ranaut sounds as avoidable as ever. Hopefully the new face in the film, Sarah will compensate for her presence. However, what she has to say about her character isn't very inspiring -

What my character in the film, Maya, goes through in her life is very difficult for any normal human being to fathom.

That basically translates to, "My character is as far removed from reality as you could imagine." Oh well, it’s a thriller, we can't expect character development and such from it now, can we?

Good music though, certainly. Especially considering its an Excel Entertainment product. But the response to the album isn't all positive.

Music reviews:
milliblog - "Game is an interesting effort from the trio – the sound works!"

music aloud - "7.5/10"

Bollyspice - "3.5/5"

Bollywood Hungama - "2.5/5"

HappySing - "if you’re thinking of buying the album just because you know Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and you know their standard, you may be in for a little disappointment."

- meeta, a part of the audience

We are grade 'A' fools, who aren't at all exposed to any kind of cinema other than the one dished out in the name of 'style' and 'thrill'. We don't watch the umpteen Television series from around the world from our couch, so we don't know what the very basics of a murder mystery. Yes, I'm furious. What are we in the eyes of our filmmakers? Deprived souls who have to be thankful for whatever we get?

Maybe I wouldn't have been this irked if they had fulfilled at least one of the things they set out to achieve - style or substance. The story has zilch in terms of drama or suspense. No, pausing before every word of every dialogue doesn't fulfill that need to be nervous about what's going to happen next. If you make me hang for every word you say, literally, I will doze off.

The style is largely superficial too. Even if you disregard the fact that there's nothing you haven't seen earlier. Unless the last you saw a Hindi film was 15 years ago, then the style might hold something for you. But then again, I'd recommend the film directed by the person who produced this film - Don.

Geez, who'd have known that a day would come when I'd recommend a Shahrukh Khan film over an Abhishek Bachchan one. It was cool when Abhishek walked that lop-sided stylish walk or sat lounging heavy on one side, clad in white against a red backdrop. After the first time though it's called repetition and predictable. You got to give me something more interesting than that. Especially when the next in line to try and impress me is Kangna Ranaut trying to finish off her English lines in a hurry.

Sheeeesh! Sorry for the break in flow, but I just can't get over on how much one can be blind to the banality of the basic plot! Not to mention that whatever Abhishek's character does is a tangent to the main plot. And the writer's confusion is transparent - should I focus on the main plot or should I make the sub-plot bigger so we can offer it to a mainstream actor.

You know what, I "shhuushed" the guy sitting next to me in the first hour because he kept saying, "what a bore yaar!" And when the main "twist" came along, I wouldn't have the heart to resist if that guy forced my foot into my mouth.

Not fair. The filmmakers have actually made me feel bad about doing the right thing. I actually wanted that guy to pay attention to their film.

- meeta, a part of the audience

40 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 3 so-so 34 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, : ...Abhishek Bachchan looks cool due with his style and appearances. Check him out in the chase scene where he outshines everyone. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now : ...The characters, specially Abhishek Bachchan's, get sufficient breathing space in a script that favours flirting with fate.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankit Ojha, Planet Bollywood : ...Watch this for the terrific performances of Bachchan, Kher and Ranaut, the fantastic screenplay and its technical brilliance! ... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Venkatraghvan, Filmfare : ...Game is a decent watch. It’s not a great watch.... full review

So-So, by Deepa Garimella, : ...Game is no Sydney Sheldon, but keep your expectations mild, and it is an engaging flick in its own right.... full review

So-So, by Ruchi Mehta, Roochster : ...They’ve tried to make it like an Abbas-Mastaan movie, filled with interesting twists but all we got to see was annoying sub-plots throughout!... full review

Thumbs down, by Naresh Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Moreover, the inclusion of a surprise back story in the dying hours of the plot -- apparently to justify the motive behind the murder -- and the introduction of new characters is the lamest trick in detective fiction.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...As Confucius says, when a movie does little by way of entertaining you, you’ve got to find ways of amusing yourself.... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...pale, boring and even funny in front of today's TV Crime thrillers such as C.S.I. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Anjum Shabbir, Bolly Spice : ...I'll give him one more shot with his second film Delhi Belly; before I decide to write him off or not.... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Disappointing!... full review

Thumbs down, Bollywood Mantra : ...Abhinay Deo fails to tell the story interestingly. It fails to convince his viewers. The screenplay written by Althea Delmas Kaushal has many loopholes. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Gautam Chintamani, Buzz in Town : lame that by time you trudge to this whodunit’s end you are left wondering who’s the bigger idiot--the viewer or the people who made this nonsense?... full review

Thumbs down, by Payal Khanna, Desi Martini : ...Movie could have been better, but if filled with inappropriate sub-plots by the debutant director Abhinay Deo. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Yusuf, Desi Martini : ...No Game here...only shame!... full review

Thumbs down, by Smita, Desi Martini : ...The audience is the loser in this Game... full review

Thumbs down, by Rony D'Costa, Desi Martini : ...Watch tomorrows final game. Even if you are not a cricket fan that game would be more entertaining than this one. Compared to this Race is a classic.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini : ...A Game Not Worth Playing... full review

Thumbs down, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...The makers may want you to believe that story is moving fast, but nothing really happens for the longest time.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...gets more and more convoluted in the name of plot twists in the second half... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions : ...Game is the first film by adman Abhinay Deo, and it must be a dream to work with budgets that allow shooting in exotic locations, plus a large cast and no expenses spared on action sequences. How come nobody read the script and asked, like an exasperated character in the film does, “What the hell is going on?”... full review

Thumbs down, by Pankaj Sabnani, : ...The first rule of a suspense thriller is that it should be succinct. Debutant director Abhinay Deo breaks it by having copious songs and some irrelevant sub-plots which add no value.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...t's a game. It's not over yet, we're repeatedly told. We know. It won't ever get over. There's a third-rate twist at every corner.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...We all want to see gorgeous scenery. Eye candy, both male and female, never hurt, either. Combining these elements in a murder mystery can have palatable results. But not here, no.... full review

Thumbs down, by Komal Nahta, koimoi : ...This Game will have no winners whatsoever.... full review

Thumbs down, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, Live Mint : ...Ranaut tries hard to bring gravitas to her part, but you keep waiting for that one scene where she will take her hands out of her pockets, get drunk and screech: “B*****d!” ... full review

Thumbs down, by Tushar Joshi, MiD DAY : ...Dias is utterly wasted in a debut where she echoes the producers sentiments in a line she keeps repeating -- "Stay with me!" ... full review

Thumbs down, by Karan Anshuman, Mumbai Mirror : ...Boman Irani tries his fiery best playing the Thai PM-in-waiting, but it seems even he doesn’t buy it.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...There is a wonderfully done chase sequence on the roof-tops in Turkey and the aquamarine seas in Greece are gorgeous. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, Now : ...Let's just say it is more like a very ordinary cricket match, which does not hold interest for anyone except die-hard cricket fans. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...with time and options, viewers have smartened up and will not fall for every pretty carrot dangled its way.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...The film also suffers because it tries to juggle several half-baked themes all at once. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Monica Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Then you have characters justifying the film’s title by mouthing silly dialogues like 'And the Game begins' and 'It’s not over' when nothing of great significance is happening.... full review

Thumbs down, by K N Gupta, : ...It might well be a sheer waste of industry's top artists - Javed Akhtar's lyrics, Shankar Ehsaan Loy's music and an otherwise good producer Farhan Akhtar.... full review

Thumbs down, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...Sarah Jane Dias has little to do except looking good. She plays a streetwalker and looks sufficiently desirable and sexy.... full review

Thumbs down, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...A below average fare.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The film predominantly suffers from a lack-lustre script (Althea Delmas Kaushal) which often borders on the corny.... full review

Thumbs down, by The Thirdman, Upper Stall : ...If any departments deserve a pat on the back, it is the production design and the cinematography. The film is lavishly mounted, the locales, particularly Greece and Istanbul, breathtaking. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India : .... Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, cumulatively, fail to drum up even a single memorable song... full review

Thumbs down, by SpiceZee Bureau, Zee News : ...Jimmy Shergill and Shahana Goswami try to hold the fort but with a lose script like that, they can’t do much. ... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

6 readers - 1 yays 1 so-so 4 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by TimELiebe : May "Thumbs Up" is Going Too Far - But a Twisty Thriller With Some Genuine Emotion, For Once!

So-So, by iPhone Spy App : I haven't have seen the movie

Nay! Thumbs Down, by guddu : washed out

Nay! Thumbs Down, by kunal baikunth singh : 45

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Roy Daniel DSilva

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Sarada

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Four people are lured into an island on one specific day. Only to find themselves in a spot where murder might be the only way to get out.

What Worked

  • The titles. Nicely done. Loved the glassy dice cubes.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

Is everything else a good answer?

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots. Blood, fist fights,
  • Language: clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A pole dance. Body-trafficking is mentioned
  • Concept: Revenge, murder, suspense
  • General Look and Feel: Pseudo-stylish

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Game - Cast, crew, links

Background Score:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
135 minutes

Comments (7)

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Meetu this is one of the most convicing and hilarious review i have ever read.i think certain filmakers really intend to test patience from their viewers like ramu's Aag.i really enjoyed reading each line of your review and now i feel my money is repaid. Thanks'

@Guddu ha ha! thanks, man!

[comment deleted because it gives the climax away in a lot of detail]

@Sarada Thanks!

@yeast infection remedy (if you are not spam), ha ha! some of them are alright. :D

@Roy sorry had to delete your comment, however lame the film is, can't have the story given away.

@Meetu - I don't know, we kind of enjoyed this one. It was one of Bachchan Jr. better acting jobs - he not only did his sullen unshaven badass act, he actually managed some scenes of genuine sadness and loss (not something we've seen him do much of). The twists were, yah, about what you'd expect when you have a movie with Abhishek Bachchan playing a slick crook, but we thought he sold it better than usual - for a bit there, if you squinted, you could convince yourself he really was his father's son.

Nice to see Anupam Kher playing an actual part rather than "Uncle", Jimmy Shergill nailed "oily weak movie star", and though he mugged a bit in spots this was another impressive Boman Irani performance (if he can stop wanting to wink at the audience, he could be one of India's best actors). Honestly, I thought Kangna Ranaut played her Hot Buttkicking Woman Cop better than you did - she moved like she was ready to fight or duck behind cover any second, she held a gun like she could use it and rocked her shoulder holster, and her eyes went cop-flat when they were supposed to.
She was sure a lot more convincing police officer than her partner was - he looked like The Producer's Nephew given a prop gun and a couple lines of dialogue!

@TimELiebe And here I thought I was good at looking for something to appreciated in a film. :)

@Meetu - Something Something American Fan Who Loves Trashy Movies! :D

Though yes - I was actually more impressed with Abhishek Bachchan's acting than I usually am.

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