You have to give one thing to the Bhatts. Theyve rarely been applauded for absolute originality but the themes that they choose; in each of their stories have ample ambition that heightens the drama eventually delivering quite an involving tale.
Gangster, Zeher, Murder, Raaz, Jism most of them borrowed from our beloved Hollywood folks - have stories that have been suitably tailored to the countrys commercial flavor.
Talk of bootlegging, Sonu Dilli KKC (Emraan Hashmi) is a dealer in illegal arms and is a miniscule part of a massive racket. Pursuing him is ACP Pratap, a cop who cannot function without consuming sufficient doses of alcohol. While Sonu is of the ideology that everyone must possess a gun (so everyones an equal), hot-headed cop wants every constituent of an illegal bullet wiped off. His intentions lie not in extensive social welfare but are triggered out of a personal vengeance which is explained through a laborious back-story.
It proves its worth though, in the very end, and does it quite spectacularly.
So, bad guy wants to be on the right track as our pretty heroine has charmed the man (mostly by mending his deliberately slashed hand and then appearing in a bosom-flaunting ethnic wear)). Cop wouldnt let go as he is an invaluable lead. Thus, Hashmi penetrates the gang of elder gods as an informer, ironically to rid himself out from the business. His impossibly challenging battle to walk the delicately slender line between the gangster and the do-gooders gives the writers enough landscape to explore a complex and continuously conflicted psychology of a police informer and if not anything else, makes you sympathize with the condition which people on the wrong side of the law, end up in.
Although, the first hour of the film wanders off all over the places, without stabilizing its course, it is quick to recover from the momentary puncture and becomes an involving tale where the protagonist is constantly made to take morally complex decisions and face the inevitable, unbearable consequences arising out of his own choices.
At one point, you can almost spot in advance the composite zone where writer Shagufta Rafique is trying to push her central characters and this is something which works against the film favor. For example, showing Esha Gupta, Hashmis lover as a practitioner trying to run a clinic on medical funds, is too deliberate an attempt to contrast the grim line of Hashmis trade. It doesnt boost the film in any way when you see the actor is strictly mediocre in her part and is given long monologues to deliver, fracturing the set-up even further.
Moreover, lack of tight-scripting make her come across as a superficial tool employed to trigger an abrupt change in Hashmis personality. From a slapdash petty criminal of street-smart variety who escapes with the use of wit than action, he is inclined toward seeking a life full of peace, comfortable housing and sans police-mafia pressures. In short an idealistic course of happy-ever-after ilk.
Just when its blandness becomes too dry for consumption, some racy twists thoughtfully put to entangle the protagonist in a claustrophobic realm of fatally threatening and morally destroying periphery, make the picture an excitingly involving tale.
Throughout, theres a conscious feeling of empathy for Sonu Dilli and his line-of-working. Even if lethally corrupt, his thought is free from dislikable distortion. Hashmi plays the part with a delicious sense of naivety and brings in a believable sense of integrity in Sonu which makes you want to root for him and sympathize when he is consistently caught in a kaleidoscopic nightmare of mentally torturous situations.
Here, writers borrow a crucial plot element from Scorseses The Departed and one scene is a clear indication of the theft. Yes, there is mole on both ends.
Thus, the story is a mixed bag. It is a genius exploration of the psyche and motivations of a particular kind of criminal torn in a translation of change. Yet, it fails when you go on a nitpicking spree.
Randeep Hooda, again is equally competitive in his part and his consistent state of stupor reflects a delicate vulnerability. Through the course of the film, the fluctuating relationship between the cop and the informer becomes an interesting tale and works better as a story in itself than merely a plot-device.
The film ends on a structure that is oddly reminiscent, of The Dark Knight, and undoubtedly is inspired from it, but the best part is that is isnt hideously done but genuinely pulled-off.
Dialogues by Sanjay Masoom are wittily penned keeping the lines in sync with the character graph while their rusty background makes the use of frequent expletives seem required rather than outwardly placed.
Overall, the film is dull in parts and great in some. It dangles between the Wow and the Eww.
Have a look; it is still better than much of what Bollywood otherwise produces.