Film: Naqsha; Starring: Sunny Deol, Viveik Oberoi, Sameera Reddy, Jackie Shroff; Director: Sachin Bajaj; Rating: *A lot of actors here ham through this adventurous muddle that looks like Steven’s Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.
Admittedly, Sunny Deol in his comeback vehicle makes an endearing Indiana Jones. Hat in place, grin in sight, Deol is gloriously goofy bringing in references to his legendary dad Dharmendra in a sizzled (but ear-unfriendly) number, playing against Viveik Oberoi’s earnest but strained step-sibling.
Alas, the duo never complement each other.
Remember Milan Luthria’s “Kachche Dhaage” where Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan went on a rugged adventure and discovered a brotherly bonding?
That sense of growing closeness completely eludes Deol and Oberoi…or for that matter Oberoi and his romantic lead Sameera Reddy who’s on for a rugged jaunt for no seeming reason except to add oomph to the bulging macho quotient.
The screenplay by Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani apportions witticisms like plastic fruits on real trees.
The eye-catching outdoor locations are used to inviting effect by cinematographer Vijay Arora who spans through the panoramic locales with fruity relish.
But the characters are as over-the-top and uni-dimensional as electronic toys in an upmarket departmental store where the best items have been swept away at a summer bonanza sale.
What remains are the remnants of a dreadful day. And there are continuity lapses like Oberoi’s off-and-on stubble that brings shame to the film’s claims of being a true adventure story.
And the humour is often of the most dreadful variety. There’s a particularly obnoxious queer-funny sequence where handcuffed chotte- bhai Oberoi wants his brother Sunny Deol to help him pee in the wilderness.
Forget the ecological desecration. The absolute lack of good taste stymies the flow of adventure, like the scene where the villain’s moll stands speechlessly in semi-naked splendour only to burst into a song about “nashaa nashaa”…or was it naqsha naqsha?
Too numbed to react to the film’s self-conscious paciness, you still applaud the debutant director for his enterprising spirit.
When was the last time you saw a children’s adventure story told with loads of sporty chutzpah?
This isn’t quite the ultimate adventure story that Spielberg would have made. But “Naqsha” has an interesting look and feel too it. The feel however is not even skin-deep. It’s just stilted and shallow.