The masters of the thriller genre, Abbas-Mustan, are back with their new offering, Race. After two failed projects in a row, they have done everything possible to make sure this one hits the nail on the head. Big budget, great star cast, beautiful locations, super styling, and popular music- this one has it all. But do all these factors equal into a good product? Abbas-Mustan can rest assured that they have broken their own dry spell with Race, as they have produced a solid product that provides the bang for the buck. Even though the main focus on the film is style, it is definitely not low on substance. The mixture of the two is what turns Race into a winning proposition. Obviously, those looking for high class cinema will be gravely disappointed, but in a film like this, why would you be looking for something like that? This one is all about entertainment- something to watch and enjoy. As an entertainer, Race delivers the goods big time as there is not a dull moment to speak of. If you’re looking for a fun time while watching a movie, then Race is exactly the movie for you!
Most Abbas-Mustan films revolve around multiple twists that create a huge shock value. This one is no different. For that fact alone, it would be best not to delve into the plot as something might be given away if done so. All you need to know before watching this film is it is about two brothers (Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna) who are competing in the race of life. Along for the race are a model (Bipasha Basu), a secretary (Katrina Kaif), a detective (Anil Kapoor), and his assistant (Sameera Reddy). One thing that is important is every character has some sort of gray shades in the film. No one is clean or wholesome. As mentioned before, the film is full of twists and turns. It might be safe to say one has not seen this many twists before in any Abbas-Mustan film in the past. Like I said, they have gone all out to ensure this one is a success. The best part is that all the twists work and do leave you shocked, unlike the director duo’s previous couple of films. It is these surprising twists that make Race such a treat to watch. A thriller heavily depends on a quick pace, suspense, and surprises. If those three elements do not exist or fall flat, the movie is an automatic failure. Luckily, Race moves at a pace just as fast as the cars seen in the movie, the suspense exists all throughout the movie, and the surprises keep coming from left, right and center. This is why Race is a cool and slick thriller that is totally worth the time you spend on it. If you are a thriller buff, then you will have loads of fun watching this one.
Abbas-Mustan are back with perhaps their best effort since Humraaz. They have mastered the thriller genre, but with their last couple of efforts, they left a lot to be desired. They went back to the drawing board and finally get it right with this one. They have made sure the film has been paced correctly. They have filled the movie with great action, suspense, thrills, and surprises. As a matter of fact, they have given the film a very a Hollywoodish feeling which makes the movie seem even more tight and crisp. From the action to the styling to the locations, they all have the international flavor we love tasting. Kudos to Abbas-Mustan for providing us with such a spicy dish of a film!
The screenplay, as mentioned before, is filled with many twists and surprises. The only problem with this is that there are so many shocking moments in the film that once you digest one of them; another one is thrown at you. It might be too much to bear for some people. It also takes away from the general plot at times because the new twist that is introduced starts taking you to a different tangent altogether. All of this may cause some sort of confusion for the viewers. But you are so at awe with what is being displayed, that sometimes you forget the loose ends in the plot. This flaw is covered only because you leave satisfied with the thrilling moments.
The cinematography of the film (Ravi Yadav) is simply brilliant. The way he has shot the locales of Durban, South Africa has to be seen to be believed. What is most commendable is how he moves the camera during all the action scenes. They make the scenes even more breathtaking. Speaking of the action, Allan Amin does a fantastic job with it. All the action in the film is very well done and compares to a Hollywood film. It is definitely not the tacky type of action if that is what you were wondering. Special mention must go to the climax scene. The action, as well as the camera work, is just awesome in this scene. The cinematography and the action of the film are perhaps the two areas that brought the film to greater heights!
Anaita Shroff Adajania just may be the queen of styling. She weaved magic with her work in Dhoom 2 and now she does it again with Race. Everybody is given a great look in the film and some of the actors have even been given a new image. The guys look cool, the girls look hot, is there anything more we can ask for? If you want to make a sexy movie, just hire Anaita as the stylist. She never fails to deliver. The editing of the film is very well done. The movie moves at a break neck speed and there are no dull moments to speak of. It may run at approximately 2 and half hours, but it feels much shorter because of the crisp editing.
The music, although good, feels completely unnecessary. There are instances where things start heating up and a song is put in for no reason whatsoever. It actually dampens the mood of the film. But luckily, the tracks are rock solid and provide for a good listen. Out of the lot, Allah Duhai Hai and Pehli Nazar Main are the best tracks. The choreography to Touch Me and Sexy Lady are pretty good as well. The only song that actually seems like it fits into the film is Dekho Nashe Mein. If you ask me, this is one film that should have stuck to a song in the beginning credits and another one in the end credits. That method seems to be really popular these days anyway. But one thing to be noted is the background music is fantastic. It is totally in sync with the mood of the film.
When it comes to multi-starrers, Saif Ali Khan usually plays second fiddle. But this time, he is the main man. Leading such a big cast does add pressure on him, but a great actor like him should never feel pressure. He delivers a wonderful performance and has your attention every time he is on the frame. He gives the film that extra lifeline with his dashing personality and chilling dialogue delivery. He also deserves special credit for performing his own stunts in the film. Not to mention, he has never looked this cool before. All in all, another feather in Saif’s cap!
Akshaye Khanna is no less as the younger brother. He has become a fixture in Abbas-Mustan films and it should be safe to assume he will always deliver when working with them. His character has great depth and it would have been easy to falter in such a role. But Akshaye is one of the best we have in the industry at the moment and he stays on his two feet the entire movie. If Saif provides that extra lifeline in the film, he provides the initial lifeline with his fine performance.
Anil Kapoor enters into the narrative in the second half, but leaves his mark as well. Some of his dialogues may be a bit crude, but he is there to provide the comic relief in the film. Nonetheless, he is damn good at what he does and only adds to the entertainment of the film. It can be safe to call him the scene stealer of the film.
Bipasha Basu is given a role of substance and delivers a very good performance. She just needs the right roles to show off her talent. Granted, this film focuses on her sex appeal as well (rightfully so-she looks gorgeous), but this time she is not a mere prop in the film and is very important to the narrative. She is very convincing and a delight to watch.
Katrina Kaif doesn’t have much to do in the first half, but her character picks up drastically in the second half. Although she has a bigger role in this film than what she has been getting recently, she is still a bit inconsistent as far as her acting is concerned. It definitely does not help that she doesn’t dub for herself. That being said, she looks beautiful, but then again when does she not.
Sameera Reddy is there alongside Anil Kapoor to provide the comic relief. She is able to bring out a few laughs with her dumb girl act. She is not that annoying and doesn’t go over the top and that is all we can ask for.
Overall, Race is a very cool, slick, and entertaining film that will keep you at the edge of your seat all throughout the film. The film is full of twists and turns which only make it more fun to watch. It is not without its share of flaws, but they are overshadowed by the thrills that occur throughout the movie. It is a true thriller in every sense of the word and Abbas-Mustan are back to doing what they do best- making entertaining thrillers that keep you guessing. If you’re in the mood to have some fun, get your fair share of action, suspense, thrills, and surprises, then give Race a shot. You surely will not be disappointed as it is one hell of an entertaining watch!