Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

April 9, 2010

Heir brained

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 1:29 am

April 09, 2010

Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Nandana Sen, Sanjay Kapoor, Neeru Bajwa, Aruna Shields

Director: Kookie Gulati

Action thriller Prince is a marvellously moronic movie that uses visual effects to fake everything from stunt scenes and explosions, to hi-tech gizmos and even the Mumbai skyline. Why then, may I ask, must we endure all that over-the-top acting from leading man Vivek Oberoi and the rest of this film’s dreadful cast, when the director could have given us virtual characters instead?

Vivek stars as Prince, a slick thief who in the film’s opening scene pulls off a diamond heist in a high-security facility, using all kinds of cool contraptions including a vacuum pump which, after that baby delivery scene in 3 Idiots, has emerged the go-to-gadget for all seemingly impossible tasks.

Prince wakes up one morning with no memory, and a bullet wound in his arm. He must now retrace his steps to figure out who he really is, and why he has no recollection of his past. The film’s laughably silly plot involves the search for a coveted coin which contains a memory-stealing chip that everyone from the cops to the criminals are determined to get their hands on. There’s an assembly line of villains including one with a mechanical arm, another wearing enough gold chains to give Bappi Lahiri a complex, and finally a heavily-tattooed femme fatale in S&M gear.

The actors struggle to pull off cool, but given those CGI-enhanced action scenes, the ill-fitting leather costumes, and the puerile dialogue, cool is impossible to achieve. Even the obvious inspiration fromMission ImpossibleMatrix and the Bourne movies doesn’t seem to help director Kookie Gulati in constructing a half-convincing tale.

Not that it stops our hero, Vivek Oberoi, from having what appears to be the most fun he’s ever had on screen — riding a bike off the ledge of a building, putting his tongue down the throats of three starlets, and using the “I’ve-had-my-memory-erased” excuse to not even bother with a credible performance. Even in scenes where he’s meant to be in a comatose state, Vivek hams it up embarrassingly.

To be fair, the film’s got a few hummable tracks, and some of the daredevil action scenes are exciting too, but in the end Prince might be worth a watch because it’s one of those films that’s so bad, it’s good.

I’m going with two out of five for director Kookie Gulati’s Prince. Funnier than any comedy you’ve seen recently.

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