Starring: Nana Patekar, Danny Denzongpa, Paresh Rawal, Kunal Kapoor and Rimi Sen
Director: Milan Luthria
Hattrick revolves around India’s craze for cricket and much much more. You’d expect better from Milan Luthria as he’s directed Taxi 9211, Chori Chori, and many more films- but the movie gives you a break from all the serious movies and family entertainers. Hattrick is a comedy that wont do too well but is targeted towards cricket lovers and fans of Paresh Rawal/Nana Patekar and maybe if there are any fans of Kunal Kapoor and Rimi Sen.
This story is not just one, but three stories. First is the story of Dr. Satyajeet Chavan (Nana Patekar) who lives an ordinary and mundane life. Successful he may be, but he lacks happiness in his life, and most of all he hates cricket. He believes cricket is a fever that all of India is suffering from, even his wife and son. Soon a famous bowler known as Madhav Anna (Danny Denzongpa) is admitted to his hospital, the staff is very excited to see him but Dr. Chavan is not at all pleased. Madhav is on a mission to bring back the smile on Dr. Chavan’s face and Dr. Chavan is on a mission to prove that cricket is nothing more than a game to the staff, his family, and especially Madhav.
The second story revolves around Sarbjeet Singh aka Saby (Kunal Kapoor) and his love interest Kashmira aka Kash (Rimi Sen). When Saby and Kashmira announce to their family that they would like to get married, both their families agree right away. After marriage, Kashmira realizes that Saby’s obsession with cricket may be more serious than she thought. Instead of having a suhag raat, Saby is more interested in watching cricket as his favorite player Dhoni is playing. Hoping to live a happily married life, Kashmira starts watching cricket with Saby. However, she doesn’t watch cricket for the game she watches cricket for the players. Soon she becomes obsessed with famous cricket player Dhoni who happens to be Saby’s favorite. Soon Kashmira finds herself day dreaming about Dhoni, and Saby finds himself jealous and confused.
The third story is centered on Hemu Patel (Paresh Rawal) who is an illegal immigrant living in the U.K. since 12 years. His only dream is to become a legal citizen of the U.K, and go back to India to celebrate his mom’s 60th birthday. He works as a janitor in a local airport but he doesn’t want anyone to know that the only thing he has accomplished in 12 years is becoming a janitor. His family is not exactly supportive of him becoming a citizen, especially his daughter who makes remarks about him changing his ways to become a U.K. Citizen. His daughter angers him the most in this story, as she dates someone whose race Hemu doesn’t approve of.
Hattrick is full of brilliant performances but the story lacks that extra “oopmh” that all Bollywood films need. Nana Patekar delivers a top notch performance as always. Danny Denzongpa, who I remember from Pukar, surprises with a great performance. He enacts a cricket addict with gusto and leaves you smiling till the end. The scenes between Nana and Danny are commendable. Paresh Rawal is seen in a different light this time around. You’d expect him to be his usual humorous self, but he’s seen in somewhat of a serious role. He delivers an average performance but you’d expect a bit better from someone who’s been in the industry for so long and has bagged quite a few awards for his humorous roles. Kunal Kapoor does a wonderful job, and seems to get better with each movie. Rimi Sen is average, but she looks gorgeous in each and every scene. One brilliant scene is the one in which Kunal enters as a male stripper and leaves you smiling and. The rest (Paresh’s airport partner, immigration officer, Nana and Paresh’s family) are likable. The music is distracting and gets in the way of the storyline. One wishes the movie followed in the footsteps of Eklavya and was music-less, but I guess a comedy without music is impossible.
Milan Luthria has made quite a good attempt at a cricket comedy but after movies like Taxi 9211, Hattrick is highly disappointing. Milan Luthria has been my favorite director for at least 3 years but I’m not going to be biased and say it’s a great film, because it truly is average and won’t do very well in the box office with movies like Just Married, The Namesake, and Provoked releasing all at the same time. The director seems quite confused in parts where you think he could have gone further, but it’s a good attempt at something different and unique. With brilliant performances by great actors and an average storyline, one wishes that Hattrick could have reached its full potential rather than suffering from an average script.