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

October 9, 2009

Acid trip!

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 12:02 pm

October 09, 2009

Cast: Fardeen Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea, Dia Mirza, Danny Denzongpa, Manoj Bajpai, Irrfan Khan

Director: Suparn Verma

Acid Factory, directed by Suparn Verma, looks like it’s been assembled from the footage that was edited out of Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante. Shot in the same grainy moss-green colour tone; its characters speak in a similar hyper-active overlapping style; and two big action set-pieces notwithstanding, it’s a suffocating psychological thriller at its core.

Of course, there’s also that trademark sequence of all characters walking towards camera in slo-mo.

But while Kaante owes much by way of debt to Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs of which it was a shameless rip-off, Acid Factory has been blatantly plagiarised from the lesser-seen 2006 thriller, Unknown.

Five guys and one chick wake up in an abandoned chemical factory on the outskirts of Cape Town. They have been variously beaten, bound, shot and handcuffed, but nobody remembers a thing. Not even their names, or what they’re doing there. A gas-leak at this factory has resulted in this temporary amnesia, you learn.

Repeated phone-calls from a central figure seem to suggest that a kidnapping has taken place, and that two of them are going to die. Now the group must piece back their memories and work out the possible permutations — who are the kidnappers and who’s been kidnapped? — before the mastermind behind this operation finally shows up.

Borrowing too many tricks that have been used too many times before, director Suparn Verma kills what could have been an otherwise promising thriller by packing it with ridiculously silly chase scenes, gratuitous club songs, and outrageously idiotic dialogue.

It doesn’t help that Acid Factory comes with an all-star cast of jokers including Fardeen Khan, Dino Morea, Aftab Shivdasani and Dia Mirza who don’t bring a shred of credibility to their roles. Even dependable actors like Irrfan Khan and Danny Denzongpa are wasted in thankless roles, while Manoj Bajpai hams it up as a maniacal criminal.

A film of this nature might still have worked if the holes in the plot hadn’t been so glaring. I mean think about it — six chaps can’t remember a thing, and not one of them is carrying any ID?

That’s two out of five for director Suparn Verma’s Acid Factory; you’ll come out wishing you had inhaled some of that amnesia-inducing gas too.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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