Machine Movie Review

STORY: An unabashed regurgitation of Baazigar (race cars included), where the hero tricks girls into falling in love before throwing them off cliffs.

REVIEW: The mind boggles at the thought of movies like these, that actually get written (?), shot, publicized and manage to hit the theaters. Does no one with an ounce of objectivity intervene at any point? Anyway, here we are, and here it is.

Ransh (Mustafa) is a machine (the heroine’s words, not ours), who has no heart. He is made to fall in love with girls, then made to kill them and steal their money. Sarah (Advani) becomes his victim and but is soon resurrected to bring down her sly lover when he’s on his next hunt. Her saviour? The twin brother of a friendzoned Romeo who dies at the hands of Ransh earlier. If the existential crisis hasn’t set in yet, give it time. Two hours and 28 minutes, to be precise.

The lack of any kind of subtlety is the most astounding thing here. If a boy is in love, he will write love letters in blood; if a girl is upset, she will sit by the river and sob endlessly; everything is spelled out (in cringe-worthy dialogue) and then underlined and highlighted, should people miss the point. Songs show up as if they’re following a schedule and can’t miss the deadline.

How is this coming from the same directors who pulled off taught thrillers until the early ‘00s? Like Baazigar, the Abbas-Mustan movie that sealed the deal for Shah Rukh Khan. They have revived the same plot as a launch vehicle for Mustafa, but have forgotten that little depends on the vehicle and a lot is determined by the man behind the wheel. And Mustafa, suspiciously surrounded by obviously less talented is just not that man. Kiara Advani is almost certainly binge-watching Deepika Padukone movies and picking up nuances of her dialogue delivery and expressions. There’s an eerie Padukone vibe about the way Advani walks, talks and looks.

This machine has been put together without any manual and starts falling apart as soon as it is turned on.