Scream and Shout: Why ‘Race’ is a pathetic film

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Warning and Disclaimer: This article, though unintended, may contain a few spoilers of the film. Do not read on if you don’t wish to encounter them. Keep in mind, the editors of BollySpice Magazine do not endorse the views of any of our ‘Rant and Rave’ articles; they are merely a way for our writers to express their own opinions.

Call it malicious journalism or what you may, this article is simply an expression of the immense disappointment I felt when I saw Abbas-Mustan’s Race last night. Suspense films are always great to watch, they keep you at the edge of your seat and give you this feeling of being scared to want more. But Race is not a suspense film.

It’s a film full of half-naked women that can’t act, actors who try to look suave but don’t do anything substantial, peppy music that pops up out of nowhere, and most importantly, a screenplay that could have been whipped up in two minutes. Literally.

Basically the recipe was to create two couples; the men want to kill each other, the women swap men, and everyone who dies comes back from the dead! TWIST? You’re kidding me! When a movie aims on presenting twists and turns, they have to be intelligent. They have to make you think “Wow, I never expected that.” Each and every so-called “twist” in Race was predictable, ridiculous and downright laughable.

So with a horrible plot, pitiable execution, you can at least look forward to some knockout performances! Or so you would think. Only Akshaye Khanna and Anil Kapoor manage to do something decent with their roles, though both ham like crazy. Saif Ali Khan indulges in random song-and-dance sequences and when required, he makes a few grunts or so which is a far cry from his awe-inspiring performances in Omkara, Eklavya and even Hum Tum. Yet it’s the ladies that can even make a man embarrassed for the female population, for representing them are three women who shed their dignity and pretend to be actresses. If by “meatiest role” we’re talking about the least clothes, then Bipasha Basu has got it. Honestly, these layers in her role that everyone seems so intent on talking about is a load of hogwash (in place of using a more profane word) as all she does is prance around from man to man with a sexy tag slapped on her forehead. After Namastey London, I felt Katrina Kaif had finally arrived. With Race, I think she’s gone all the way back and here she sobs like a maniac and when in doubt, smiles her butt off. Once again, not acting! Not to mention that her dubbing is horrible. Why are you acting in the industry if you can’t speak the language? Other actors and actresses are not fluent in Hindi either, including the likes of Konkona Sen Sharma, but you don’t see them dubbing in all their films. Learn your lines, learn the accent and work it out. Or stop taking up space. Sameera Reddy who gets the tiniest role of the three is the only one that manages to entertain. Ironic!

Even though Pritam has formulated (or rather, stolen) a rather fun and foot-tapping score, it’s utilised so horribly in the film that it makes you feel like you’re watching a film from ten years ago. Picture this; Katrina Kaif sobbing about a death, and suddenly she has a flashback and she’s singing “Sexy Lady” to Saif Ali Khan. Then, the song frame freezes, and we return to Katrina sobbing and the story continues as if no song just appeared. Honestly, that was a laugh riot.

At the same time, some are raving about the so-called “international standards” of the film. Are you kidding me? The action really isn’t anything great and the cinematography is shaky from the very first sequence (and not on purpose!).

For me, Race was not just a disappointment from some of my favourite actors, but it led me to question my constant faith in the Hindi film industry. The second someone badmouths it, I’m the first to harp on about all the positives, because I’ve always felt it’s got an inimitable style and soul about it. But if Race is what Bollywood has to offer, is it really that great? Show it to any international critic, whether in China, France, Italy, the U.S.A, or anywhere else and they’ll give a roaring laugh. I would too! To be honest, what scares me the most is that people actually like this film! It leaves me baffled. Might I add that though it may seem so after this article, I’ve always been a sucker for masala movies even if they may not always have the greatest stories. I agree, films are meant to entertain first and foremost, but my issue with Race is that it was a film made for a brainless section of the audience. And that REALLY irks me—the fact that filmmakers consider audiences so stupid.

Now go ahead, bring the brickbats. I’m ready to hear comments praising Race and subsequently bashing this article. But I stand by the fact that Race was nothing more than an attempt at cinema—one that gives a disgusting name to such a beautiful form of expression.

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