It is a season of remakes (though an official one this time). Players is (official) remake of Sir Michal Caine’s superhit movie The Italian Job.
Player story revolves around Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) who is the catalyst behind the mission to steal gold worth crores from a train traveling from Romania to Russia. His role mentor Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna) helps Charlie form a team of the best players in the world, which include explosive expert Bilal (Sikander Kher), illusionist Ronny (Bobby Deol), Spider, a hacker (Neil Nitin Mukesh), Riya, (Bipasha Basu) a mechanic and makeup expert Sunny (Omi Vaidya). The team sets a deadline of 10 odd minutes to steal the gold from a moving train, which leads to a series of interesting events, which was the only gripping and invigorating sequence in the movie.
Half-way through the movie the group is betrayed of their gold and gunned down. From then onwards, Charlie and his remaining team try to outwit their betrayer from the stolen gold. Also on the trail for the treasure is the Russian mafia, whose threat is absent for roughly 90 percent of the movie.
The movie sluggishly proceeds with execrable dialogues and bad performances. Only an inappropriately placed bikini scene by Bipasha Basu seems to be attracting people to the cinemas. Even the music dint live up to the expectations of the public. The concluding track was a peppy one but on the whole the music was stale and dreary.
A facsimile of ‘The Italian Job’, Players has let us down for a number of reasons. Firstly it is an Abbas-Mustan movie and the director duo have made some amazing thrillers in the past, the latest being ‘Race’. Their movies may lack logic at times, but they never lack entertainment. Secondly, it being a copy of ‘The Italian Job’, a 2003 heist film and a commercial, super hit classic, Players couldn’t live up to its name.
Abhishek Bachchan has outdone himself in this movie, playing a charismatic conman. He was the only watchable factor in the movie.
Sonam Kapoor has again failed to deliver a good performance. Even though the movie had an promising starcast, it failed to enrapture the audiences.
The big star names also failed to draw audiences to the cinemas. Bobby Deol and Vinod Khanna, both big names, have also failed to deliver inspiring performances though they roles required it. The comedy amidst the drama was uncalled for, but the Omi Vaidya did add the much needed humour to certain parts of the movie.
The suspense in the movie is also predictable and very similar to the duo’s previous movies. They have tried to give the villain a sassy, intimidating appeal but have tragically failed to do so. But, like any other Abbas-Mustan film, you are guaranteed some exotic locales that are shot beautifully. That is something to watch out for. It has been shot in Russia and New Zealand, unconventional but very interesting places.
It would be a better gamble if they had concentrated on a fresh, contemporary storyline. Now that Bollywood is trying to keep pace with Hollywood’s extravagant budgets production style, it’s about time, the old-school formula directors re-learned their craft. Having said this, the auteurs of this movie Abbas-Mustan have been fairly successful in creating a masala-filled flashy mess, to suit the Indian palate but they need to change their conventional styles to meet the stature of the contemporary cinema.