Johnny Gaddar: Sriram Raghavan

23Nov07

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Johnny Gaddar could have been a brilliant film. It could have been an Indian answer to the Coen Brothers, it could have been the smartest Hindi crime caper in recent times; but it’s not.

Johnny Gaddar is a play on the name Johnny from the eponymous Dev Anand film Johnny Mera Naam. The proceedings are peppered with various pop culture references, mostly involving the early films of Amitabh Bhachan; particularly a film called Parwaana that according to one of the characters, nobody remembers Bhachan for. The story involves 5 men who get into a scam to, well, get a lot of money. Vikram (Neil Mukesh) gets greedy and hatches a plan of his own to collect the entire moolah himself. As is always with schemes like these, things go wrong and people die. This is where the film closely resembles a Coen Brothers picture; the plot gets overly complicated and the main characters are motivated simply by greed.

The film is determined to be smart and hence tries to include as many references to  other films and books as possible. James Hadley Chase novels make frequent appearances as do scenes from Hindi films from the 70s. You even get to catch a glimpse of Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. But the problem is none of these references serve much purpose. Watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to see how it’s done properly.

You have to give the film credit where it’s due; the film had me glued to the seat from the word go. It was clever, the humor was understated, the characters were interesting but alas, the tone was inconsistent. To top it off, you have shoddy camera work (What’s with all the weird angles?) and Rimi Sen who gives the word “Drama Queen” new meaning. Then again, it’s better than most of the crap that comes from the industry these days. 6.5/10

Also, is it me or does Dharmendra look like an aging porn star?

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2 Responses to “Johnny Gaddar: Sriram Raghavan”

  1. 1 bApHoMEt

    Its not just you bro, Dharmendra does look like an aging porn star (as far as i can tell from my viewing of Metro).

    Nice review. the movie looks promising. where did you get it from?

    p.s. i see that you have downloaded ‘Stranger in this town.’

  2. There’s a torrent for this film somewhere there. Dharmendra was pretty cheesy man. He says, ”Eejyet” for idiot.

    Yep. Will be listening to Undiscovered Soul soon too.


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