Maverick cop Bobby Deol rids society of evildoers in this routine actioner.
Awadesh Pratap Singh (Vinod Khanna), Commissioner of Police, has trouble accepting the maverick methods adopted by his son, ACP Abhay Pratap Singh (Bobby Deol). Their differences in opinion on how to dispense justice come to a head while trying to apprehend industrialist-cum-traitor Mahendra Singh Rana (Kabir Bedi). Sanjana Roy (Amisha Patel) tags along as Abhay`s girlfriend.
The first major sequence in the film shows us cops on the trail of a dreaded terrorist who is holed up in a hotel located in the vicinity of a theatre, a hospital and a girls` hostel all at once. So, okay, you think, and await the action-packed next few scenes. Only, nothing remotely thrilling happens and the terrorist is revealed to be baby-faced Raj Zutshi, who tries to act tough by wearing Pathani outfits and ordering kababs, mutton and kabuli naan from room service. Vegetarianism is obviously not an option for Hindi film villains!
`Kranti` is one of those films ostensibly dedicated to martyrs of the Indian army, opening with shots of a police officer`s cap and terrorism-oriented headlines on the covers of newsmagazines, but it`s really just `dishum-dishum` as usual. You hear swooshing sounds even when the camera pans across something as simple as a boardroom discussion, a reminder that nothing here will be underplayed.
Director Naresh Malhotra totally misses bringing any punch to the father-son confrontations, unless you count the nonsensical climax in which the duo bonds in an ultraviolent fashion. The characters too make no sense. How can you empathise with Bobby when he beats up people just because they `look` suspicious?
More unforgivable are the vanilla action sequences. One jump from a terrace is staged well, that`s about it. If even the stunts do not deliver in a film of this nature, what is one to watch? You just have the usual car chases, the single-handed bashing up of five or six thugs by the lone wolf hero. And there`s the unavoidable fight set in a college campus that involves hockey sticks, cricket bats, easily-breakable furniture and plenty of soda bottles.
All of this makes you sorry for Jatin-Lalit. The duo comes up with yet another decent score (love the sprightly, folksy riffs of `Oy Naukar Sarkari`) that is doomed to obscurity due to the film it`s in, just like last year`s `Albela`. In any case, most of the songs get buried under totally routine alpine scenery and uninspired choreography.
The casting is definitely promising. It`s interesting to see yesteryear bad boy Vinod Khanna as an upright (and uptight) cop, but his flatly-written role offers him no scope to do anything worthwhile. His scenes with pretty wife Rati Agnihotri (she wants to reconcile the `baap-beta`, what else?) are rehashes of countless such earlier situations. At least, he doesn`t have to do what Bobby does.
As Bobby wraps up his introductory fisticuffs, he mouths his motto, `No FIR. No arrest. No talk. Faisla on the spot.`, and departs in slow motion. This sets the tone for his performance, consisting mainly of high-pitched histrionics (`theek se rahoge to salute karoonga, theek nahin rahoge to shoot kar doonga`) and half-hearted romancing with his girlfriend. At least, he doesn`t have to do what Amisha does.
Poor Ms. Patel is saddled with a role that has her doing a Ph.D. on good policemen in Mumbai (don`t ask!). She runs around consorting with various shady cops in painfully unfunny scenes that are intended as comic relief. Someone like Juhi Chawla could have probably carried off this nonsense with aplomb, but Amisha is just extremely irritating.
So with the principals all very colourless or just plain annoying, Kabir Bedi easily comes up trumps in his portrayal. He`s suave and speaks in a stylish baritone and you feel very sorry that he has to perish at the hands of the Khanna-Deol pair. A villain this charismatic needed to be in a better picture. Or at least have his big operation named something less of a howler than `Saare Jahan se Achcha`.
I kid you not, but whenever Bobby Deol gets angry in this film, the soundtrack actually features a lion`s roars. That should help you make up your mind whether you want to spend two-and-a-half hours of your life on `Kranti`.
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