Game: This one’s a washout

April 1, 2011

game1Everybody loves a good murder – and unfortunately, Bollywood doesn’t do too many of them. Abhinay Deo’s “Game” tries to fill that void, with a murder mystery about a tycoon who is shot dead on his private island.

Anupam Kher plays the dead man, Kabir Malhotra, one of the world’s richest men who mysteriously invites four strangers to his private island in Greece, because he believes they have something to do with the death of his abandoned daughter Maya (Sarah Jane Dias).

Abhishek Bachchan plays one of the four — casino owner Neil Menon with a shady past. The other three are a crooked politician (Boman Irani) from Thailand, a Bollywood actor from Mumbai (Jimmy Shergill) and a troubled crime journalist (Shahana Goswami). Of course, each of them have a troubled past that leads them to the island and that is dispensed off pretty quickly and without going into too many details.

The next morning, Malhotra is found dead in his room and International Vigilance Agency (whatever that means!) agent Sia, played by Kangna Ranaut, arrives on the scene.

If you are the type who enjoys an Agatha Christie whodunit then you will immediately know what is wrong with “Game”. The pace is awry, you can see through the red herrings pretty soon, and the characters aren’t intriguing enough. And however old-fashioned Christie might have been, her whodunits never suffered from these flaws.

The film also suffers because it tries to juggle several half-baked themes all at once. There is a revenge angle, Abhishek Bachchan suddenly turns vigilante for a while and finally we move towards a murder mystery.

Of the cast, Bachchan is competent in his role and Dias has a pleasing screen presence in a small role. Kangna Ranaut once again grates on your nerves with her Hindi diction — as for her English diction, it’s better we don’t get into that. Someone should start dubbing her voice in films, or it might get unbearable.

The film is shot beautifully, especially the parts in Istanbul, but the music isn’t that great and the director doesn’t seem to have much of a hold over his project. I suggest you concentrate on the other “game” this weekend.

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