Prince wakes up in a strange room. He panics. He cannot remember how he got there. Last time he remembers he was one of India’s most dynamic batsmen, a panther in the covers and slated to become a permanent member of the Test side middle-order. And yet he now finds himself with a paunch that would put a mithaiwala to shame , a double chin, a dodgy knee, fielding reflexes slower than Angshuman Gaekwad’s , his place in the Test side gone for good and the franchise, of which he is a icon player, desperate to wash their hands off him after kicking him out of captaincy.
“What in heaven has happened to me?” wonders Prince. Perplexed, he stumbles along till he is contacted by three women all claiming to his partner—–Pee-Ayush Chawla, Potty Zinta and Assa Siddique who in addition claims that Prince married her over the telephone. Needless to say, Prince does not know which of them is actually his woman because his sense of shot-selection is totally shot. From their disjointed stories however, he pieces together that they are all after the most magical and precious thing in the world, Sauron ka One ring ka baap, jo ” Ravan ka rakt se nikla tha”——the Prince’s batting form, his cricketing mo-jo also referred to as “The Coin”.
It has evidently been taken by Prince’s once-associate turned enemy Santhakumar Sarang, a maverick break-dancing madman who blows up planes and claps ‘Ai Raju chal aaja re bajoo’-style after being no-balled. He has never forgiven Prince for a dandruff commercial both of them did together where Santhakumar was made to say “Kyon ? Chakka kya sirf tum mar saakhte ho” , a line he had never been able to live down. If outwitting the criminal mastermind that is Santhakumar Sarang is not enough, the Prince has to deal with crazy IPL franchises, memories that can be stored on USB pen drives , assorted psychopaths who want “The Coin” and twists as predictable as a full toss from Ajit Agarkar. The task is made doubly difficult because he has to do this while leaping from DLF buildings in Karbon Kamaal ways as “Oh mere khuda, batting gya chuda” plays in the background.
“Prince” is not really this story. But pretty close. When your movie is being helmed by next-Gen talents like Kookie Gulati, you are already halfway to immortality. And then when you add Tarantinoesque in-references to Gunda like how in the opening sequence, Prince (played by Vivek Oberoi) runs into a bathroom, the same one where Chutiya was castrated by Shankar in Gunda, looks to the camera and says, in Gundaian pentameter “I am in, it is time to win” you have pretty made sure that no one will forget this work of art in a long while
Kookie Gulati is in complete control in “Prince” making a fluffy cookie made up of sequences of Matrix, Matrix Reloaded, Dark Knight, the Bourne series and Mission Impossible with chocolate chips in the form of cool lines like “It is showtime” uttered with the same seriousness with the “Jo apne baap ke bhi naheen hote”. Additional delight is provided by the femme fatales—–Niroo Singh, Aruna Shields (who combines the “Doodh ka karz” magic of Aruna Irani and the “Blue Lagoon” sensuality of Brooke Shields in her clothes) and my favorite hottie in the universe Nandana Sen, bringing whom into this world is the single most important reason why Dr. Amartya Sen deserves his Nobel Prize.
If there is anything left after this, the final blows are given by Vivek or is it Vivi-eeeek Oberoi’s holding-his-head-and-careening-to-and-fro attempts to act, which makes even Sanjay “Aati Naheen” Kapoor as the cop look understated and measured.
Final verdict: Back-up your sanity on a Moser-Bauer CD before going to watch “Prince”. Trust me. You will need to do a System Restore afterwards.