exclusive review by Devansh Patel
After watching Yash Raj's Tashan, I've learnt a lesson, and I guess we all have - never go with high expectations to watch a Bollywood film. So while walking towards my local cinema for a special screening of Sanjay Gadhvi's Kidnap, I was blank faced but people around me, apni audience, was ga-ga over Imran Khan. While the lady on my left said, "Do you know I've only come for Imran Khan?", the lady listening to her replies, "Me too". So it was pretty evident that Imran was the talk of the town in London even after the debacle of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Now let's see if he was successful in kidnapping the audiences heart this time around.
The film starts off with a black and white animated short feature of a young boy who is taken to the jail and is getting used, abused and beaten up by inmates and police officers. He then gets released from the jail and that's where the animation ends. Cut to a sexy number 'Hey Yea' featuring the sexy Sonia played by Minissha Lamba. It was an eye opener for sure. Within a few minutes, Sonia lands up in a heated argument with her even sexy mother Mallika (not Sherawat for a change) played by Vidya Malavade about her not being introduced to her father in the last eight years. So the troubled Sonia leaves her house in her red sports car and in order to take out her frustration she lands up on some beach. Now hold your breath...she takes her clothes off and on comes the famous and the most talked about white bikini. Why? because she wanted to swim. Next scene finds her as a hostage and enter our dapper dude Kabir played by Imran Khan. Straight up and to-the-point Kabir wants to talk only to Vikrant Raina, the richest Indian in the world played by Sanjay Dutt who happens to be in India during her daughters kidnap. It's Mallika who breaks the news to Vikrant about Sonia's kidnapping. Rules are set by Kabir and Vikrant has to obey them in order to save his daughter by solving the puzzle. Every game which the kidnapper plays brings Raina closer to Sonia and just when you think that Raina is an inch away, Kabir brings up another task for the big daddy to solve. The cat and mouse game continues right till the last reel. It's like sitting in the SSC or an ICSE board exam and solving your maths paper. One mistake and you know you're in for a big trouble. One mistake by Raina could land Sonia in a big fix. Now instead of me solving the puzzle for you, I'd recommend you to take a trip down to your nearest cinema and solve the seven day mystery yourself.
The trouble with Kidnap is that a promising plot and a snappy opening soon take a u-turn into predictability and mediocrity, aside from one surprising twist midway through that is cleverly orchestrated. But having said that, Kidnap isn't a dull film, necessarily, and I like some of the directions it took. The problem is, it takes far too many leaps of logic to get to the big plot developments, and those leaps wouldn't stop nagging me enough to let me enjoy the film. After this brisk and enjoyable start the tension soon slackens and the plot starts to unravel. Vikrant Raina's sessions are somehow impressive but he doesn't really do anything that any untrained person might attempt. There are a few plot strands which don't quite add up like when there is less water in the bathroom for Sonia, she insists on going to the beach for a swim in order to have a bath. But Gadhvi is too smart. He then immediately shows Sonia under a waterfall (a good way to clean yourself up after having a bath on the beach). Smart move Sanjay, but did Kabir have to listen to her orders in the first place? The next one is that the body double of Sanjay Dutt is pretty well seen in the longest ever chase scene where Raina is trying to nab Kabir. Doesn't the scene remind you of the Bond...James Bond scene from Casino Royale? But the cardinal sin of Kidnap is that the end is signalled a good forty minutes before it arrives. And when it does arrive it is exactly as everyone predicted. Given the talent involved and the aspiring premise, it all goes a bit down hill but not when it comes to the performances. I'll come to that later.
Shibani Bhatija's story is good, no doubt, but there is a vital announcement to be made - As we all know by now that Kidnap was all ready with its script before Sanjay Gadhvi made Dhoom and Dhoom 2, the film, if released in 2004 could have told a different story all together. The script could have been novel at that particular point in time and ofcourse, quite unpredictable too. Dialogues are somewhat cliched but the confrontation ones between Kabir and Raina are worth an applause. Cinematography is good and the music is not what you expect from a Sanjay Gadhvi film.You wished 'Mit Jaaye' came a bit early just like 'Hey Yea'. The rest of the songs were situational and even though you don't enjoy them, you can't give it a miss as you may miss the story.
Performances, well, Sanjay Dutt has had a long, fairly eclectic career, but he has always won over audiences most successfully with his gripping performances. Kidnap is the latest Sanjay Dutt suspenser that follows the formula closely. He plays a merely nice man who is seemingly perfect in every way. A more resilient Raina for you. Vidya Malavade playing the sexy rich doctor manages her role well. The costumes of Vidya match her personality in the film. But it's not Sanju baba nor Vidya who steal the show away in Kidnap. Surprised? It's the new pin up boy Imran Khan and Minissha Lamba who come up with excellent performances. The mausam created by Minissha in the the film is awesome. Her alluring abs, wet body and revealing outfits just cannot take your eyes off her. Wish you could really Kidnap her and take her to Swarg with you. In a cold October month, Minissha does make you sweat. She plays the rich spoilt brat with ease by not going over the top. Her best role till date for me. And now Imran Khan, what can we say about this new raw talent? The more said the less. Sanjay Gadhvi's trump card in Kidnap. He plays Kabir with convincing confidence and a cool head. What he was told, he delivered. Though the aam janta might find him a bit unconventional but that was the whole point. Kabir does not look perplexed at all. It is a difficult role for Imran and after the film is over, you do want to tell him - Hey Imran...hasde hasde hasde hasde tu zara...nahin toh bas thoda thoda thoda thoda muskura. You normally wouldn't fall head over heels for a kidnapper. For a change, here you do. Imran's body language and dialogue delivery was far too impressive and no matter what the fate of Kidnap is in the days to come but Imran Khan makes it two in a row.
The director Sanjay Gadhvi said that Kidnap for him is a Sanjay Dutt film. He just might have to rephrase his sentence. It is for sure an Imran Khan film. As it's a new trial and test genre Gadhvi plunged into, I don't blame him for making Kidnap predictable. It's a fair attempt and to bring out performances from actors like Imran and Minissha is a tough call.
This could have been a pretty tight little thriller or a suspense game. What we ended up with, though, was something just entertaining enough to kill a couple of hours on a slow evening. It's upto the trade analysts to decide what the fate of the film will be at the box office but I can vouch on the fact that Sanjay Gadhvi will still be remembered as the director who made Dhoom and Dhoom 2 and then Kidnap.
A must watch for Imran and Minissha!