Salman show all the way

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 Jun 2018 11:30:06


Race 3

By Farina Salim Quraishi,

Salman Khan sure wasn’t kidding when he proclaimed Race 3 to be part Race and part Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!. A family first affair all the way, Race 3 is a glowing salute to family ties and filial loyalty, never mind the fact that the clan in question is Indian family 2.o. More of a family musical with a staggering eight songs playing out elaborately, Race 3 is an unhurried shadow of the Race franchise, which gave double-crossing a new meaning in Bollywood. Instead of twists and turns, Race 3 is fixated in its focus of showing Salman Khan the superstar in all his splendour; with breath-taking locales and jaw-dropping action sequences completing the full on ‘masala’ deal. And Salman Bhai Khan doesn’t disappoint his legion fans and splendidly plays to the gallery like only he can do!

Race 3 is about the Singh family with its patriarch Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor), pulling all the strings. Dealing in arms supply, Shamsher Singh has a hand in every imaginable illegal pie this side of Atlantic. Standing strong on the well-rounded shoulders of his step-son Sikander (Salman Khan) and his own twin children Sanjana (Dasiy Shah) and Suraj (Saqib Saleem), Shamsher has global dreams. Cheesed off by their father’s open affection for Sikander, Sanjana and Suraj want Sikander out of the race. Plotting ways to checkmate him, the duo enlist the help of Sikander’s Man Friday and bestie Yash (Bobby Deol); totally unaware of the games being played behind their backs. With each player in a race to outsmart the other, the Singh family is soon neck-deep in tricks and traps, with only one person orchestrating the entire show.

Bas party chale on and on and on... goes one of many songs in Race 3, and the film too plays out like series of parties; flashy, flamboyant and fun, but at the same time terribly flimsy. Every frame is stuffed to rafters with gloss and glamour. The uber-fashionable clothes, immaculately done hair, spotless makeup and picture-perfect sets and awesome props are present in every sequence giving the film a glittering look but an empty feeling.

The sequences are great as standalone pieces, but have little connection or connectivity to the story as a whole. The Remo D'Souza-directed drama follows a set pattern, song-Salman-slam, song-Salman-slam over and over, with everything else - point and plausibility included - going out of the window! The scale of action is enormous, with the international touch of Thomas Struthers adding some overwhelming moments to high-voltage action. But even the relentless action fails to plug the gaping holes in the plot, say anything about the lopsided and uneven writing.

Moreover, the near linear narrative insists on spoon-feeding audience everything in the plot. So the twists and turns are laid out neatly and also spelt out word by word for further clarity by the Singh family, in lines which are cringe-worthy. Oh, give us the verbal sparring of Saif and Akshaye Khanna any day! Race franchise characteristics-- double-crossing and deception -- find ample place in the heist thriller but are so toothless that they are laughable.  Also the oft-used line, ‘Stress but well dressed’ goes beautifully for Race 3 characters. They are a stressed lot, but the tensions certainly don’t affect their ability to turn up in their Sunday best for each and every scene. So whether it is walking into the enemy camp in a red-hot dress in towering heels, or falling from the sky (literally) in a three-piece suit, all the characters are Vogue magazine ready at any point of time in Race 3. Moreover, all the players in Race 3 stand on ceremony mouthing important sounding lines - for them at least - to a very poor effect.

Speaking of poor effect, whoever had the brainwave to make the film in 3D needs help! Urgently! The bleary images, dark frames and precious few special sequences aggravate the woes of poor audiences brave enough to sit through 160 minutes of  Race 3. The lead characters, when they are not dancing and singing, mostly strut in and out of several high-end cars in slo-mo. Having a whale of a time, they do not even attempt to be a credible lot! Going about the motions mechanically, their trials and tribulations fail either to move or to engage us!

Race 3 is a Salman show all the way, with events and sequences only highlighting Bhai’s strengths. So we have fight sequences, romantic songs, starring showdowns, good-natured sparrings and even an emotional and angry track to fire up Salman’s fierce power. The tropes are old as they come and the antics are entirely predictable. But not so for the scores of Bhai fans who came in droves to watch their favourite star in action. The hooting, yelling and catcalls reached a deafening crescendo every time Bhai moved as much as a muscle on the screen! And when the proverbial shirt did come off, the audience was definitely more than a little dazed! Jacqueline Fernandez has a substantial role and gets to do some mean stunts, but the Sri Lankan beauty fails to cut much ice, given her Barbie Doll-ish demeanour. Daisy Shah too get ample screen time and tries a tad too hard to be the edgy lady. Unfortunately, the efforts show and fail to impress.

Saqib Saleem playing his dream role of the ‘angry-young-hero’ needs to work a lot if he wants to impress! Minus the smoulder, his smirks lack the bite to be cutting and the one-note expressions don’t help, much ‘bro’! A fitter Bobby Deol looks great on the screen and has a strong role too. But given the deadpan acting, he fails to leave a mark despite being the dark horse of Race 3. It is only good old Anil Kapoor who shines the strongest in the film. Playing the layered role with infectious gusto, Anil Kapoor brings a wide range of colours to his complicated role. Unabashedly commercial, Race 3 is as formulaic as it can, with all stops pulled out for entertainment. ‘Ek Aur Race Hogi…,’ says Sikander in the closing sequence and we just can’t Race away quickly enough!

The Hitavada Rating: O O