‘Short Kut’ takes the long, boring route

July 10, 2009

Somewhere in Bollywood, there has to be a movie-making machine.

All you do is insert a reel, change a few specifications (perhaps the hero’s name and occupation or the reason for a romantic obstacle with his leading lady) and wait for a “masala” movie to pop up, fresh and ready to hit unsuspecting audiences.

How else do you explain a movie like “Short Kut: The Con is On“?

This one is supposed to be a sometimes funny, sometimes emotional comedy about a struggling filmmaker and his double-crosser friend. It turns out to be neither.

Akshaye Khanna plays Shekhar, an aspiring filmmaker who believes in taking no shortcuts to success and is in love with actress Mansi (Amrita Rao).

Arshad Warsi plays Raju, a down-and-out actor desperately looking for a break. A producer promises to make a movie for him if he brings him a brilliant script. Raju steals the script written by Shekhar and the resulting film is a hit at the box-office.

Shekhar’s life pretty much collapses around him but he is determined to get back to cinema, which remains his passion. How he does so and gets his own against Raju forms the rest of the plot.

Given how much importance is given to Shekhar’s script for the film within the film, I am surprised director Neeraj Vora didn’t pay much attention to his own script, which is laden with holes.

At the heart of “Short Kut” is an interesting story idea, one borrowed rather heavily from the Malayalam film “Udayananu Tharam“.

However, the implementation of the idea is shoddy and half-hearted and does not make for good entertainment.

For a movie that talks of originality in Bollywood, it takes some shortcuts of its own and that is never a good sign.

Of the cast, Akshaye Khanna shows only glimpses of his immense acting talent, making you wish he would choose his roles wisely. Arshad Warsi, for all his comic timing, looks jaded.

“Short Kut” is a movie that will force you to look hard for positives and who knows you may even find them. No harm in trying, is there?


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Would advise everyone to give Short Kut a Wide berth; It is no doubt a poor copy of the Malayalam film Udayananu Tharam (Udayan is the star) with Udayan being the name of the director, played by Mohanlal with the multi-faceted Srinivasan playing the actor friend.

“Short” particularly falls short with the climax, in contrast to the Malayalam version. That itself was a “generous” lift from the 1980 Hollywood film “The Stunt Man, featuring Peter O’Toole (film director), Steve Railsback (as the actor/stuntman) and Barbara Hershey, the leading lady of the film within the film and the director’s daughter.

In the climax, Railsback, who plays an ex-soldier on the run from the police who is forced to don the role of a stuntman, is manipulated by the director to do a very difficult stunt.

When will our film-makers learn to give credit where it is due?

Posted by ananth | Report as abusive

Shortcut … is a complete boring disaster!!

Posted by Vishal Maggoo | Report as abusive

Shortkut – utterly waste movie. Akshaye should stop wearing a wig in his movies.

Posted by Ravi Chander | Report as abusive

Wow – bull’s eye! Thanks for this post. I bookmarked it.

Posted by Andrew Pelt | Report as abusive