Out Of Theatre


Out Of Theatre
18 Sep, 2009 2 hrs 33 mins A
Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia, Prakash Raj, Vinod Khanna
With this film, the knuckle-crushing action flick roars back in an improved avtaar. In Bollywood, men are back.

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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Brawn is back. So is Salman Khan. Rattled by a barrage of recent flops (Yuvvraaj, God Tussi Great Ho, Hello, Heroes), the actor appeared in dozens of television shows in the past few weeks hoping to stay alive in the viewer's mindspace.

He even went around a Delhi football stadium waving at crowds. He needn't have. In Wanted, the remake of a superhit Telugu film (also made in Tamil), Salman is like a force of nature. Unstoppable. Unbreakable. Unbeatable. As a trigger-happy criminal, he enthrals. As a deadpan lover, who gets to deliver some of the cleverest lines in recent Bollywood films, he amuses in equal measure. He does what only the most charismatic stars do: make an ordinary frame worth watching by sheer presence.

Salman plays a criminal named Radhey who is willing to kill without fear and without hesitation for money, the sort of guy of whom even the heroine says, "Gundon se zyada mujhe tumse dar lagta hai". The movie is an engrossing yarn of crooked cops, double-crossing villains and a love track - all told at a breathless pace. There's suspense too.

Director Prabhu Deva deftly manages to weave in the smaller narratives without losing control over the main story. Wanted is really about style. Smartly lensed, the movie has riveting fight sequences by action director Vijayan. Shiraj Ahmed's dialogues -- Bahut ghoor raha hai. Apni bahen ki shaadi karaega - are sure to induce plenty of seetis and taalis in single-screen theatres. The movie has some great songs too, including a super duet (Tum jaan jaan kehke meri jaan le gaye) and a track that DJs might adore, Mera hi jalwa. Deva gets uniform good work from the entire supporting cast: villain Prakash Raj makes you laugh without losing his mean streak. And Mahesh Manjrekar is a scene-stealer as the crooked cop.

In the recent past, Bollywood's action heroes seemed to have lost faith in the genre they once excelled in. Guys like Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgun abandoned their fists of fury and reinvented themselves as lover boys and comics. Other men of meat and muscle, Sunny Deol for instance, went out of the frame because they couldn't adjust to the changing public tastes.

But late last year, the winds of change could be felt as six-pack Aamir Khan's violent Ghajini became a blockbuster. Now with Wanted, the knuckle-crushing action flick roars back in an improved avtaar. In Bollywood, men are back.
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