Race—the Review

What if “Mohabbatein” had a twist in the end with the twist being that the Shahrukh Khan character had actually fallen in love with Amitabh Bachchan and that Aishwarya Rai committed suicide after she stumbled on them making love? What if it was revealed at the end of “Kuch Kuch Hota Hota” that Rani Mukherjee had actually faked her own death just to see if Shahrukh Khan actually meant it when he said that people fall in love once? What if “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” had ended with Kajol extending her hand and Shahrukh Khan twisting it in such a fashion that she fell on the railways lines and got run over by the train with the camera moving to a last shot of Mandira Bedi, sitting in the train, smiling?

Twists are inherently a good thing—-at least it would have made some movies, like the ones above, more interesting. Multiple twists aren’t bad either. But for twists to work, they have to come at a moment you least expect them to. This is what “Race” seems to forget—in trying to make a movie with multiple twists, the director duo Abbas-Mastan cram in so many twists that the arrival of a plot kink elicits as much surprise as the start of a song in your average Hindi movie.

And it’s not just the number of twists. It’s also the twists themselves. The fly in the ointment is not so much the plot-holes and the tenuous assumptions and happen-chance that the master-plans of the evil men/women are built on—after all a Hindi movie is not a theorem proof but escapist entertainment based on a willing suspension of disbelief. However what damns “Race” is the total lack of originality in the “you never saw that one coming” moments—-someone who has seen a few movies of this genre will most often cotton onto what the next twist will be. [Of course I do understand that the word “originality” does not sit well in a movie directed by Abbas Mastan (“Race” being supposedly a copy of “Goodbye Lover“) and whose music director is Pritam, just as intra-party democracy does not find favor in the Congress I]

Performance-wise, there is nothing much to write about as character development and nuances of mood are not the focus of “Race”. Saif is seen in many scenes wearing just a beard and not much else, Akshaye Khanna permanently wears his trademark superior smirk and Anil Kapoor, parodying Karamchand, gets a chance to touch Sameera Reddy’s chest. I do not know if that was the only remuneration he got for the role cause he didn’t deserve much more. The ladies—Katrina, Sameera and Bipasha use their “aage ki yehi shor” and “peeche ki yehi shor” to keep the plot rolling manfully and Johnny Lever (when did I last see him !) gives us a smelly blast from the past with a manically hammy comedy item. And lest I forget, from time to time, cars fly into the air in slow motion and come crashing down (this of course being an action movie), which spectacular as it is, does become monotonous after a while.

Summing up, a very predictable, twisted and labored “race” to the bottom.

[Picture courtesy Santabanta.com]

48 thoughts on “Race—the Review

  1. director bada confused lagta hai….kise villain banayen…kiske sath kiska bed scene dikhayen..

  2. The only good thing about this movie is that it finally ends in two and a half hour,Even though it feels like four hours….I had to take one beer to get back to my own self….Abbas mastan duo deserves a real Jhinglala for making this movie…

    Dear Greatbong…can you please please please watch and review the movies before I get to watch them….It will save big trouble for a lot of other souls at the cost of your own soul..(You come from a communist ruled state…don’t you ;))

  3. true! not worth a watch.

    i liked the first paragraph what-ifs! if would indeed have been amazing if those things had actually happened in ddlj, kkhh and so on.

    i think the last movie with a good twist ending was farhan akhtars don. caught me napping.

  4. HUMRAAZ is was much bettre movie and thriller than this mess

    even naaqab was watchable

  5. Frankly, you can predict the plot of such movies just by looking at the trailors, and the costumes of the stars… i can’t remember the last sensible bollywood movie i saw!! btw, no comments on india’s recent capitulation against SA arnab? 🙂 And yeah, I really enjoy reading your posts!! This is my first comment though! 🙂

  6. “Johnny Lever (when did I last see him !) gives us a smelly blast from the past”


  7. “the Shahrukh Khan character had actually fallen in love with Amitabh Bachchan and that Aishwarya Rai committed suicide after she stumbled on them making love?”


  8. Hindi movie is not a theorem proof but escapist entertainment based on a willing suspension of disbelief.

    hahaha…always thot this applied more to certain southern superstar movies..but can see bollywood regaining that position

  9. By any chance have others also noted that Akshaye Khanna’s face nowadays resembles a trapezium ???

  10. GB, of the hundreds of cleavage shots in the movie, why choose this???

    Certainly not safe for work!

    The ones featuring Katrina, Bipasha, Sameera or Akshaye feature either clothes or hair in the right place to cover things up!

    Great work by Sameera though…
    What better way to have your daily serving of fruits and rest your hands after a hard day of police work?

  11. Sid...No More The Kid April 9, 2008 — 9:36 am


    Atleast be thankful that only Saif’s bare torso is displayed. Imagine having to watch the paunchy Akshaye Khanna bare his! Or even worse, Anil kapoor’s hairy back!!!!

  12. I can’t believe that there are some people who actually like this movie. I was watching it with a friend and right at the end when Saif Ali Khan magically comes running back to life he couldn’t stop himself from shouting out “DHOB TO THE POWER INFINITY”

  13. There was a powerful comedy element though. I mean stuff like Dilip Tahil’s moustache and beard, and Saif’s little MI:2 pen routine. I laughed like hell at both.

  14. Looks like there isn’t much of a diff btween 10000 BC and Race aka 10000 AD!

  15. @countdraks

    what do you mean bollywood regaining that position ? when did it ever make great movies ? On a comparable basis, if 20% of Tamil or Malayalam movies are NON-suspended disbelief then the percentage for Bollywood is close to Zero.

    Its a couple of directors/actors from the land of GB that lend Bollywood some respect.

  16. Highlight of the movie…

    South Africa is beautiful.

    The race horse were beautiful.

    This is the first time I saw a movie with Sameera Reddy, Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif. Had never seen any Bollywood movie with any of them bfore.

    They are beautiful too.

  17. i actually thought this was a good movie
    the first half had me in splits, and akshaye khanna’s shrug of resignation when he realises that bipasha is still alive was a masterstroke.
    it is a bad movie, but the sheer badness (i’m not sure if thats the word) of it must be appreciated.
    race was an extremely short soap, since the first lasted for only two hours or so, while the second often lasts years together

  18. This movie was like a maze of twists”. I had to drink half a liter of whiskey and smoke an entire hookah (with mint flavour tobacco to clear my thoughts) in order to get over it. Thankfully I was lying on my couch watching it. So didn’t spend too much time/energy and money.

    Saif is too talented an actor to do things like these. After Omkara I though he would turn a new leaf ….but no …

    – Dibyakalyan Basu (Dibyo)

  19. I didn’t think it was that bad. I did a review sometime back and I thought it was good time pass paisa-vasool.

    Your “twists” in the first paragraph had me in stitches!

  20. I watched Race a day after I watched Taare Zameen Par…some fall that was.

  21. well discounting the crap served in the movie, did anyone observe that not a single Bollywood movie released a couple of weeks before and a couple of weeks after Abbas ‘Bhai’ Mustan ‘Bhai”s movie, giving it a virtual walkover, ensuring that there are more of the like to come soon…very soon.

  22. I was really waiting for this review :D,after being tortured by this epic masala twist movie,I was shocked to read some of the reviews,viz.CNN-IBN,TOI etc.
    The movie satarted with a direct lift from Final Destination 2 and ended with Speed.Why do these directors copy from popular hollywood flicks.Next time they can show a poster cut-out of Katrina Kaif,and have somebody dub the lines.Why waste money on such a talented actress??

    Anyways the 3 females provided some relief to the eyes,when one’s ear could not bear the pathetic PJs of Anil kapoor

  23. DumDum_er_Aantel April 9, 2008 — 10:31 pm

    It was a time-pass, one-time-see movie though. Better than many craps in bollywood.

  24. LOL at ‘Kajol extending her hand and Shahrukh Khan twisting it in such a fashion that she fell on the railways lines and got run over by the train with the camera moving to a last shot of Mandira Bedi, sitting in the train, smiling’ :))

  25. “In the end, Race has fast cars and fast babes, and it’s better than anything else its directors have made recently. Judged purely as a Bollywood thriller, I’ll go with three out of five for Abbas-Mastan’s “Race”. Because there’s barely anything else at the movies currently, I’m going to say – go watch it, you won’t be disappointed. And don’t miss that one scene with Johnny Lever. He’s back after so long and he’s so good.”

    This is the concluding paragraph of CNN-IBN’s Rajeev Masand’s Race review. Can anybody tell me what he was smoking before he watched the movie/wrote the reviw?

  26. There could not have been a better-worded review for the movie 😀

  27. Great review (as always!) GB Dada! And yeah, if the endings you actually listed in the first paragraph were there, I wonder if these blockbusters would have been bigger hits… 🙂
    Keep going!!

  28. Great review, as usual. I was waiting for this review. Now I won’t go to watch this movie. By the way, it is “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” and not “Kuch Kuch Hota Hota”.

  29. It wasn’t bad at all. It was paisa vasool. No Citizen Kane. But who cares.

  30. hahahaha
    90 % of the people lamenting the movie here ..

    And the fact is 100 % have seen the movie (knowing that they may not like it) 🙂

    Oh yeah … we love our Bollywood !!

  31. Aptly reviewed, GBong.

    The new Don was a nice twist particularly given that the original left the scope for that innovation that the later directors were clever to invent and utilize. Bluff Master was enjoyable as well.

    A twist should not only punch unexpectedly, but it must be logically sound and beautiful – all the otherwise unexplained chips should fall in the right places beautifully a posteriori (even cleverer if the viewers are in the know all along, i.e. nothing left unexplained, and the twist simply goes on to re-define the sequences in totally new light, e.g. The Thomas Crown Affair).

  32. Why are these Bollywood shitbrains struggling so hard to weave plots around all the sex scenes? they should just come out and say “we got this movie out soon and we’re showing bipasha, katrina, sameera half naked. so waltz right in fellers!”
    i’d actually have seen this crappy movie if they promoted it that way.

  33. I know this is off-topic but this has to be said.

    Congrats Ganguly!! If we had Ranadeb Bose, Jhunjhunawala and this boy-wonder in national team http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2008/jan/17feat.htm , we could beat any team

  34. suraj... truck driver suraj April 14, 2008 — 11:35 am

    awsm review

  35. I cant stop picturing the movies you named with their twisted twists!…They would make such interesting cinema and rake in so much more moolah than they already did 🙂
    Think you should take to scripwriting!…I am so going to watch em..first day first show!

  36. Yes, race was perhaps the most boring effort of the director duo. The story had lot of inconsistancies, and while the twists and turns were one two many, the insertion of songs was horrible.
    pardon a bit of rambling here, but yesterday i saw a ‘prabhuji’ flick ‘Ma kasam’, which is a quintessential prabhuji film ! in an amazing climax, a beaten to death mithun was taken on a ‘janaja’ for live cremation at an open air kali temple.A ‘hijraa’ was asked to lit his pyre. the hijraa refuses, and the goons throw him at kali footsteps( circa 50 metre ariel trajectory). this causes a ‘lota’ placed there to get tossed in air. the water in it falls in the mouth of prabhuji(a few gulpfuls, in super slomo). prabhuji gets up,catches the lota and bashes all(each and every) of the goons(with swords and guns) with that divine lota !! a film certainly worth a look and a post 😀

  37. I tried to review ‘Race’ too. Just couldn’t force myself to watch after the undiluted cheesiness of the first ten minutes. In the words of one of my friends ‘Aiyyyyyoooo’.

    Daily Humor

  38. abbas mustan have been dissapointing for last couple of flicks now, i thnk aitraaz, humraaz and all movies before tht wr awesome

    they wr really good in putting massala cinema, no romance, direct shaadi and then everythng after tht 🙂

  39. abbas mastan worst movie………

  40. “Escapist entertainment based on a willing suspension of disbelief” Bang on target. But it did me good, ’cause after the two and something hours my head was reeling with all the adrenaline rush and I had trouble remembering my name.

    Sameera overdoes the role of an Indian bimbo with sizeable assets to compensate for her brains (why does it always have to be that?) “Main aapki puja karti hoon Sirrrrrr” and Anil Kapoor trying to convince even her god has “requirements”. Raunchy to say the least.

    The only real thing in the whole movie was the chemistry between Saif and Bipasha on a stack of straw. Though I’d have liked Akshay Kumar better in the role. The director duo were clear with their message: “Conscience is dead. Grow up kid.”

  41. what are you saying man?! i had major fun…jakey boley fultu masti!

  42. “Race” is a complete no-brainer and requires you to lose any sense of rationalism and sanity to obtain any real enjoyment.

    Having said that, on a day when you got nothing better to do, its worth the trip to your local single-screen, inexpensive theatre with some good old popcorn and pass a coupla hours watching mindless action (not to mention Katrina Kaif)

  43. you losers have no taste in movies!!
    it was the best movie ever
    buncha no live people!!!

  44. Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  45. Great read, nice post 🙂

  46. Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…gets solved properly asap.

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