No fizzle to this con job
By MovieTalkies.com, 10 July 2009
Neeraj Vohra's Short Kut The Con Is On does not turn out to be quite the cracker as one expected. One goes to the film expecting a laughathon but it is not quite so. The film starts off very promisingly and has a very nice comic touch to it, but as it progresses, the film seems to take a serious turn. The screenplay unfolds quite logically but what is surprising is the volte face that the screenplay takes where the film's tone is concerned. A comic-serious take on the film industry and the entire business of filmmaking and actors, seems to lose its sense of fun in the second half of the movie. The film does have its share of clichés, but that is not really such a big problem. For a film which has names like Neeraj Vohra and Anees Bazmee associated with it, one expected a more fun second half.
What stands out in this movie is really Arshad Warsi who seems to really dig into his role and play his character with real relish. You would like to dislike him but can't help but liked him because of the manner in which he plays out his character. The writer has definitely done a great job in sketching his character and the kudos to the actor for really filling out his part so well. The premise of Short Kut had every potential to be good comedy but somewhere down the line, the director takes everything too seriously and the delightful light touch of the beginning is lost.
The film's story is set in Bollwyood and traces the career of two strugglers, one a promising assistant director, Shekhar (Akshaye Khanna) and the other, an actor, Raju (Arshad Warsi). Matters take a turn when Raju steals Shekhar's script and passes it off as his own and becomes a superstar, while Shekhar is left trying to pick up the pieces of his life. His marriage to successful actress Mansi (Amrita rao) goes horribly wrong and she leaves him. Shekhar writes another script and is forced to make his film with Raju as the film's hero. Raju is out to give Shekhar a tough time and he proceeds to do just that from the first shot onwards, as he throws his weight around and acts like a spoilt superstar. This time, however, the con is on him and all his attempts to sabotage the movie and Shekhar's career come to naught as the latter proves too smart for him and manages to complete the movie.
Actually, the film starts falling apart once Shekhar's script is stolen by Raju. The director manages to keep the comedy going till that point, but once he adapts a more serious tone, the film just doesn't work because of the clichés. It livens up slightly with the arrival of the superstar and his various antics but that is not good enough alone to salvage the cliche ridden screenplay that follows. The whole exercise behind Shekhar's attempts to con Raju into shooting the climax is a little too farfetched to believe. It could have been a more witty and fun-filled con.
In a sense, one feels that Vohra and Bazmee have cheated the audience of a good laugh. The blame should be squarely laid on the writer as he is known for churning out fairly decent comedies. But this time he seems to get it all wrong.
The bright spot in the movie is Arshad, who is quite a delight to watch. Akshaye, a very good actor at most times, struggles for no fault of his because of a badly written role. As for the rest of the cast, Chunky Pandey makes an appearance as Arshad's sidekick and is just about passabale. Amrita Rao's new found glamourous look does not cut much ice as she has fairly little to do in the scheme of things. As for the rest of the actors, Ali Asgar is hardly impressive. He has a reputation of being a fairly good comic actor but is totally wasted in the movie as was Chunky.
The film has been shot well and the music is quite decent. There are two quite delightful numbers in this movie. One is the 'Patli Gaali' number filmed on Arshad and the other is the romantic ditty picturised very beautifully on Akshaye and Amrita. But beside that, the film is quite disappointing.
With names like Vohra and Bazmee associated with the product, and actors like Akshaye, Arshad and Chunky, one would have expected a more entertaining fare. Where Short Kut is concerned, the entertainment quotient is very low. It starts out well but fizzles out too soon.