Given the way Bollywood has failed me in the past few months with any hardly good movies to watch, I thought this was the best time to catch up on movies I have missed on home video. The first one I caught was the Neil Nitin Mukesh starrer, "Johnny Gaddaar".
RED is the colour of passion, the colour of passion and the colour of treachery. The movie is filled up with every frame shot in red. The colour used is for sensational effect and everything in this movie is red even the beanbags, shirts, blankets, mid-burger slices of tomatoes, sitar covers constantly get highlighted and meticulously framed by persistently dull colours around it.
Thankfully, this movie is not shot in black and white or it is not made on a computer but still the way the director Sriram Raghavan dabs the red colour and assimilates it is just awesome. The cinematography is masterfully executed and is a perfect example of a fast-paced thriller. Funky lowslung camera angles to a kickass old school title sequence, from a snazzy shot to go to interval to the edgiest soundtrack to arrive in Hindi cinema in ages, Johnny Gaddar is the recipe.
Next, we are introduced to our new kid on the block Vikram (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and the story is set in the next four days. His buddies include Prakash (Vinay Pathak), Shardul (Zakir Hussain), Shiva (Daya Shetty) and they work under the able guidance of Mr. Seshadri (Dharmendra) who are planning a double fortune.
This film is not for the ones who are the mushy-mushy types. There are gory scenes like opening a can of corpses, blood, banknotes, betrayals and of course, the typical Bollywood fights. The action flows and the bullets of a revolver assimilate very beautifully into the story. The film is full of deceptiveness at its peak, there is plenty of brooding between the lines and the lies blends in very well with the theme of this movie.
The acting is top-notch with a really awesome cast for a realistic thriller demands. Vinay Pathak plays this ego-gambler and in a performance that proves that he is beyond the buffoon. Zakir Hussain is okay but Dharmendra talks in English the way only he can. Govind Namdeo is the best choice I would say as the corrupt, code-loving police officer. Rimii Sen, who plays Vinay's wife, doesn't have much to do. The ensemble cast doesn't demand histrionics. The best is of course Neil with his acting. He mostly appears in the film as an eye-candy. Honestly speaking, this guy does look like the cooler, leaner and more cerebral version of Hrithik Roshan. His English dialogues need polish and he needs to open up a bit on his expressions but this is not too testing for him as a role. The story demands a well-placed calm composure, which he delivers strongly.
Johnny Gaddaar is a very clever thriller. A type of movie that delights in having two steps ahead of the characters and then gauging their expectations. The dialogues are smart, chic and snappy coupled with black humour underlining some one-liners, but this is a grim film. There is no need for comedy and I am glad that the filmmaker didn't make a mockery out of this movie. The treatment is awesome, as it is needed for a thriller. Johnny Gaddaar is the coolest film in a really long time and you need to watch it atleast for the songs and Neil.