Abbas Mustan, our desi experts on action thrillers are back with their latest offering 'Players'. Do the 'Players' manage to thrill or is it just another show of style over substance?
Kaveree Bamzai calls the film "a genuine copy of a Hollywood film":
Bollywood has realized it can camouflage its lack of stories with lots of thrills, chases, heists making the location exotic and the villains international even if it has to finally buy the remake rights legally. As one character's motto in the movie goes - videshi gadiyan, desi bomb - of the inanimate and animate kind. Even better if they wear slinky gowns and shake their booty. It allows you to laugh and lust in equal measure.
Taran Adarsh in his review points out the flaws in the screenplay:
While a one-page synopsis of the film would evoke euphoric and ecstatic reactions, it's the screenplay, with a running time of almost 2.45 hours [20 reels], that lacks the power to keep you enthralled and enchanted. In short, PLAYERS has style and attitude, but what it lacks is soul and spirit!
In fact, given the genre of the film [a hi-octane thriller], one would've expected the writers to integrate a dash of realism in the plot for the goings-on to look plausible and credible, but the haphazard screenplay and the excessive length only dilutes the impact generated by some wonderful moments that PLAYERS has to offer.
However, Rajeev Masand seems more forgiving of the shortcomings:
There's an uncomfortable truth about Abbas-Mustan's latest film 'Players' that few critics will admit to — it's not all bad! This fast-paced khichdi of two previous 'Italian Job' movies and the director duo's own last film 'Race' has so much going on all at once that you're left with little time to dwell on the gaping plot holes, the laughable dialogue, and the wooden performances.
Talking about Hollywood remakes in Bollywood, Nikhat Kazmi aptly sums it up in her review:
All you brave Indian filmmakers, do pick up classics, but first, get a bit classic yourself and learn about cult film making which is so much different from commercial cinema. You'll find the difference. Your Bollywood ventures end up like cold cuts - stylishly done - are so different from piping hot goulash.
You can read Kunal's review here.
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