Despite its vacuous randomness, the franchise is showing no signs of letting up
Let me make an honest confession. I had high expectations from Race 3. Definitely not regarding logic and plausibility; I was looking forward to some plain, unadulterated, old-fashioned cheese on screen to top off the coffee, mini samosas and cream donut on my snacks tray. Sadly, I must report that all I got in this family saga of globalised NRI goons is some stale taste of sheer inanity and randomness. A small sampler of what to expect:
*Innumerable twists and turns that leave your brain with a crick and a cramp because just about anyone can see them coming anyhow. Then pray why have them at all?
*Threads that are left dangling and unresolved. Like a bunch of randy politicians get blackmailed but are made to disappear from the script, even before they can even pay the demanded ransom. It’s like Remo D’Souza decided that they were of no use in the larger scheme of things. Or he found the film was getting too unwieldy. Not that it is any less clumsy and ungainly in its present shape.
* To come to the little details, there is a surveillance instrument called ‘micro fluid body tracking device’ which serves more as an object of romance between the hero and the heroine. At least it could then have been given a less scientific, more amorous nomenclature.
*Talking of old-fashioned devices inspired by spy films of yore, there’s a bomb in a pen strategically placed in the shirt pocket, close to the villain’s heart; with the trigger in the hands of senior citizen hero Anil Kapoor who is so seriously fit and agile that he makes ‘52-going-on-35’ Bhai’s biceps seem like bad fat than good muscles.
*Giving them company are some trying-very-hard-to-be-cool lesser stars —Bobby Deol, Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah — all introduced in slow-mo amidst cars and bikes that are actually way more cool than them. More so because the inanimate objects don’t say ‘bro’ (I would urgently call for an immediate ban on the use of this word) at the start of every sentence like their human counterparts. Unfortunate that the beautiful vehicles get blown in stunts, in every alternate scene, all because D’Souza wants to be one up on Rohit Shetty in the ‘smashed vehicles’ genre of filmmaking.
*3D makes it even worse because all that this technology is meant to do, according to D’Souza, is help hurl objects at the audience. It also puts the male mammaries of the readily shirtless studs in extreme close-ups that don’t necessarily make for a nice sight for sore eyes, the heavy photoshopping notwithstanding.
*What about Bhai? Well he makes a deliberately delayed entry to stoke audience excitement. For some strange reason he is supposed to have been in an obviously fake Beijing (where only bartenders “look” Chinese) for the longest time. Perhaps this plot point was meant to be symbolic, reciprocal gesture, for Hindi films doing so well in China. Bhai’s big entry is a unique, flying in the air kind. That too in a Batsuit of sorts which actually resembles a sleeping bag. With him zipped inside, of course. Later his ditzy ladylove Jacqueline Fernandez joins him in the air. In her own separate flying sleeping bag.
*Then there is some intense dialogue like “I am sick of Sikku”.
* D’Souza picturises songs as though they were standalone music videos. There are some English and Hinglish lyrics written by Bhai himself. My favourite is the one that goes: “Ik baar baby, selfish hoke, apne liye jeeyo na”. There is another which says “Nobody knows what the future holds for us”. Well you can see it coming in Race 3. Future unfortunately is Race 4. Unless Bhai fans pay heed to my advice: “Ik baar audience, selfish hoke, money and time waste mat karo na.”