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

October 15, 2010

Phoney business

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 11:35 pm

October 15, 2010

Cast: Irrfan Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Kangana Ranaut, Sushant Singh

Director: Mani Shankar

In Knock Out, director Mani Shankar’s brain-dead, blatant rip-off of the American thriller Phone Booth, Irrfan Khan stars as Bachchu, a sleazy investment banker who helps transfer illegal money for corrupt politicians. He’s trapped in a phone booth on a busy Mumbai street by a sniper who threatens to shoot if he steps out. Sanjay Dutt plays that patriot who wants Bachchu to confess his crimes before a crowd that has gathered around to watch the tamasha, and Kangana Ranaut is an unusually over-made-up TV news reporter covering the story.

Neither nail-biting nor particularly engaging, Knock Out never quite works as a thriller. It’s equally unsuccessful when it borrows that vigilante justice angle from A Wednesday, in which Dutt’s character coaxes Bachchu to return those thousands of crores of rupees from Swiss bank accounts to the Indian treasury.

Ridiculously simplistic in its logic, the very morality of this film is offensive. The performances by all three actors are uniformly embarrassing, particularly by Irrfan Khan who is saddled with the film’s stupidest lines and a curly mop of hair.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Mani Shankar’s Knock Out. I can’t decide what’s worse – that they plagiarized a film entirely, or that they couldn’t even make a good film despite that!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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