Kidnap

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The media hype surrounding Kidnap prior to its release was huge. And for obvious reasons. The film was promising the hip and happening Imran Khan in a new avatar. It was the return of Sanjay Dutt in a suave role after years of tapoorigiri.

Coupled with the fact that the man behind this project was Sanjay Gadhvi - who has given entertaining and macho films like Dhoom and Dhoom 2 - and it all seemed justified.

But unfortunately, like most Indian films, what starts as an interesting thriller, eventually becomes a dragging and unabashedly preachy moralistic tale of good triumphing evil.

The film is spun between four characters and their relationships with each other define the crux of the film.

There is Vikram Raina (Sanjay Dutt), an arrogant billionaire who is all about the money, Kabir (Imran Khan), a bitter vengeful angry young man, Sonia Raina (Minissha Lamba), a spoilt, naive teenager and Mallika (Vidya Malvade), an independent, successful woman who is still not over her divorce.

These lives get entwined together when Kabir kidnaps Sonia. For him, it's a game and the target is Vikram Raina. Sonia is just collateral damage. And thus begins the thriller.

Some scenes in the film are definitely worth the watch.

It's really like a game between Vikram and Kabir. Each clue leads to another clue. Then there are the mind games these two men play, the shedding off of the hard exterior and the glimpses of a broken father - its gripping stuff.

In particular, the chase between Sanjay Dutt and Imran Khan, atop buildings, is thrilling.

Imran Khan pulls off the brooding and resentful youngster role magnificently. He looks beefier with the extra weight he had put on for this role and those smouldering, intense looks work extremely well. It's the antithesis to the boy in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. With this film, it is clear that Imran Khan is here to stay.
Sanjay Dutt meanwhile is at his charismatic best. The man is made for the big screen. Sharp suits, arrogance that moves to eventual frustration and humility, Sanju Baba is the star of the show. And watching him on our big screen is an added bonus.

If Sanjay Gadhvi knows one thing well, it's the making of some excellent moments onscreen. And he does manage a few of them in Kidnap.

That said, there are too many flaws in the film to enjoy the film completely.

First, there is Sonia's character and her sense of fashion. It's understandable when she is donning skimpy outfits while dancing but it's another thing altogether when she is kidnapped and is still wearing little shorts and a tank top. It just doesn't look like a kidnap but more like a girlfriend seducing her bad boy of a boyfriend. What is with all the bare skin?

Second is Vidya Malvade who plays Sonia's mom. She is the girl who was previously seen in Chak De India. When she comes on the screen for the first time as Sonia's mom, a collective gasp reverberated from the cinema hall. This was just a major casting blunder. She didn't look like Sonia's mom. Not in looks and certainly not in age.

Then there is the film's editing, which is pretty lame. By the second half, one starts feeling a little restless and by the end, annoyance is the only emotion left for the film. Kidnap needed major editing. Without sharp chopping, it just drags on.

The most annoying section, however, was the climax. One could predict it. That just kills the whole point of a thriller... and the preachy ending, yuck. By the end, every character seemed to have found some profound sense of compassion and is out to make things right, which is even more frustrating.

In such a film, one expects something extraordinary.

Take Dhoom for example. Kabir (John Abraham) rides off into oblivion rather than giving in to the cops. In Darr, Anjam, Baazigar, Rang De Basanti, Race - to name a few - there are no happy endings. Something odd and sad happening does take place, throwing one's own guesses in the bin.

In Kidnap, the climax is like a tale of apologies, forgiveness and compassion. Had it been a Karan Johar film, it wouldn't have come as a shock but from Sanjay Gadhvi, who made the excellent Dhoom 2, this is a poor show.

The music is bland, the script is decent but executed horribly. In the end, Kidnap should be seen (only on the big screen) for two reasons: Sanjay Dutt and Imran Khan. If you're not a fan, skip it altogether.

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