wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
Never has the background music been so loud that I wanted to run out of the theater because my ears could take it no more. Had I been able to get over that, I might've enjoyed the film for what it was trying to say. Even so, how it said the message and the baggage of righteousness it carried would have been a hindrance.Read more
- meeta, a part of the audience
Hindi movies are repetitive and predictable. And yet they manage to surprise you. Knock out actually managed to get an awful performance out of Irrfan Khan. Yep! Disheartening, no? At first, I thought it was his ridiculous hairstyle I aren't being able to distract myself from. But, with the passing minutes it was difficult to let the haywire curls shoulder all the blame.
While watching Irrfan Khan deteriorate, Sanjay Dutt's usual stylish, confident, goon act seemed like an award-winner. Kangna Ranaut? Oh, you mean her shrieks, weird dialogue delivery mechanism aka her pout? I just wanted her to go back to her drugged out, mentally ill characters. In fact, looks like she was missing those days too. She tried to pull one of those looks off, in a scene where she's supposed to be scared. After all of this there is only so much Sushant Singh's cool atitude can pull off?
Also, one of the other main characters, the phone booth was way too lavish to portray the character's internal struggle or the claustrophobia he feels because of the person he is.
Despite all of this, I'd say Knock Out is far better written than your average thriller. With any fiction, there still is a realm of reality within which the story should/or at least try to stay. The way around this, is ofcourse to spread the acceptability sphere so wide, that almost anything is possible from within. So, the whole world is at Sanjay Dutt's disposal. By definition, his act is so well planned, that you cannot question his capabilities of being ready for almost anything.
When you cannot question the character's capacities, all you are left with is the bare bone plot. Knock out had a strong-ish hold on that one till they gave way to all of mother cliché's children. The spiels wouldn't stop and to ace it, you had one character actually say, "I haven't called you to preach!". Yeah, right!
Yet, Knock out covers a lot of ground. It touches upon the cool aloofness of the CCD-generation towards bomb-blasts and such everyday happenings, till something completely out of the ordinary happens - like a suited-guy does a ridiculous dance in the middle of the road. It goes on to show how self-centered we are in our roles - whether we are news reporter or a police officer. We want to keep control, irrespective of the life-and-death situation at hand - as long as it is not ours. This becomes clearer when a direct question is posed "my career vs. nation's future" The character chooses the latter and you go 'baah!' Which is when I realized how truly self-absorbed we are when we cannot even accept our fictional characters giving up on personal aspirations.
Yet, towards the end I was thinking. So, what if, what happens in this film actually comes true? What will we as a country do about it? How will we as citizens hold the new people in-charge accountable? Now, when a movie has made you think that one bit about the topic it's about, it has done something right, even if it is a teeny-weeny bit.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...the moment I witnessed its clear unaccepted and unacknowledged link with PHONEBOOTH, the movie lost all its meaning and importance of being an Irfan Khan, Sanjay Dutt or Mani Shankar film.... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...Indian viewers don't find faceless voices engrossing either. Then again, which Indian star would agree to play a faceless voice in the first place?... full review
Thumbs down, by Minty Tejpal, Mumbai Mirror : ...Sanjay Dutt just growls menacingly through the film, which I guess is enough for him, Irrfan manages to get some life and humour in his part, Kangna has a limited role while Grover is still good at being bad. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Poor Irrfan, wearing strange curls, mostly cowers in the booth while Sanjay Dutt, playing the super-smart sniper, handles high-tech weaponry and moves up and down buildings with the ease of Spider-Man.... full review
Thumbs down, by filmbear, Upper Stall : ...If only he’d be inspired to present it using his own grey cells and not a DVD, there is no doubt he’d have ended up with a critically acclaimed film... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Tony (Irrfan Khan) is an investment banker with more suspect investing practices and clients than one can imagine. He's trapped in a phone booth by an unknown person. No one knows why.