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No Baazigar, this

Sunday, 19 March 2017 | Meenakshi Rao

Machine

Cast:  Mustafa Burmawalla, Kiara Advani

Rated: 3/10

Let’s admit it. Abbas-Mustan, an era in themselves, have finally become prisoners of their time and are actually way past their prime. They can’t let go of their old worldly mores and the modern world can’t give them enough time to build a story or a sequence.

After belting out blockbuster after blockbuster throughout their career of more than two trendsetting decades, after shaping up the careers of the likes of Shah Rukh, Akshay and Salman to name a few, after lending swish polish of sex and thrills and pace and race to the Indian screen, after sustaining their efforts through a fast changing Bollywood, they’re now on a downhill.

After delivering something as modern as Race, they dented their journey with Kapil Sharma, and now they have done their ultimate no-no film with Machine. This despite the fact that they were very guarded in launching Abbas’ son Mustafa. To avoid any untoward incidents, they fell back on a formula they had, way back, introduced to Bollywood — the formula of a negative hero, the formula of Baazigar, a plot that catapulted SRK to superstardom and gave Abbas-Mustan the status of uber chic dream merchants.

Indeed, the duo has every now and then given blockbusters, indeed the two have long been the pacemakers of Hindi filmdom and, indeed, they gave polish, shine, pace and sexy chutzpah to the Indian screen way back in the 90s.

But in this one, of which even the title is out of place, they have erred like never before. For one, Mustafa despite being Abbas’ son is no hero material, can definitely be nowhere near what SRK could ooze on screen. Wonder why the so-experienced duo could not see this fact from a distance.

To introduce him as a negative hero immediately gets out of hand and tried as they much throughout Machine, it was very difficult to garner sympathy for his acts, or much-out-of-place regrets thereafter.

He kills, he deceives and he races on the fast track but he is as mismatched with stardom as the songs he sings, the fights he curates, the romance he tries to evoke. Actually, he is as mismatched as him calling some lovely Swiss environ, Himachal Pradesh!

What you get is a much packed first half and yet a kind of hollowness besetting it. The songs are insipid and un-rememberable till, the director duo hits the right note with their-time number Tu cheez badi hai mast mast...

Kiara Advani is no Raveena Tandon but she is no washout either in this song which is the only thing rocking the movie, the other distant cousin being the sequence in which Mustafa makes a kill. The modern beat and lyrics of this runaway hit of the 90s give it a groovy touch which is a big draw with youngsters audacious enough to say there was no beat in Remo and Rehman when they stitched up the original Humma song!

Such are the irreverent times so anything old worldly can’t sit pretty on modern minds and that’s the real problem with Machine, other than the fact that Mustafa, among many other people he kills on tape, kills the movie too. Sad but true, for father, son and uncle too.

 
 
 

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