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Game: The Critics Get It Wrong Again

Whether we admit it or not, what the critics have to say about a movie does impact that movie’s box office collections.  Game is a case study of this.  I hadn’t watched Game partly because of time constraints, and partly because of the bad reviews it received.  However, this may be a good thing because it turned out to be a GREAT surprise.  I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  From start to end I was enticed by the plot’s twists and turns.  Here is a plot summary of the film from bollywoodhungama.com:

GAME is a story of four strangers – Neil Menon [Abhishek Bachchan], O.P. Ramsay [Boman Irani], Tisha Khanna [Shahana Goswami] and Vikram Kapoor [Jimmy Sheirgill] – who have been invited by the reclusive billionaire Kabir Malhotra [Anupam Kher] to his private island of Samos, Greece.
A casino owner by profession, Neil has investments in various businesses, some legal and some not so legal. Ramsay is a politician from Thailand, who is running for elections. In fact, he is one of the most powerful men in Thailand. Vikram is a Bollywood superstar, recognized by all on the streets of India and Tisha is a crime journalist, with a career that is going nowhere.
None of these characters know each other and neither do they know the billionaire who has invited them to Samos… and by the next morning they will wish they had never come. 

The scene stealer of Game is Abhishek Bachchan.  This guy is talented, no two ways about it.  He is fabulous as Neil Menon.  What’s great about him is that he manages to play a stern guy even though he is such a funny guy in real life.  He did it in Dhoom and Dhoom 2, and he does it again in Game.  I found myself feeling so sad for his character.  Abhishek portrays the pain of man who has lost his love beautifully.  He also does very well in the scenes where he gets revenge.  I won’t say anything else about those scenes because that would spoil the film.  What I will say is that the reference to Chelsea was hilarious.  For those of you that don’t know AB Junior is a HUGE fan of the Chelsea soccer team.  So the reference was a nice treat.

The supporting actors are commendable as well.  In particular the very versatile Boman Irani stands out.  Is there anything this guy cannot do?  Even though he has played comic characters that will go down in hindi cinema history (The Munna Bhai Series, 3 Idiots), he should also be remembered for his realistic portrayal of devious villains (Don: The Chase Begins, Eklavya: The Royal Guard and now Game).  Along with Boman, Shahana Goswami is efficient in her role.  However she has very little to do. That being said, the scene where she reprimands Anupam Kher’s character is noteworthy.  Anupam Kher is brilliant as usual too.  The sorrow of a father over his daughter’s death is depicted perfectly by Mr. Kher.  The weak point is Jimmy Shergill.  He just doesn’t manage to hold his own among the other great performances.  Kangana Renaut is also efficient but she really needs to work on her diction.  Her posture and body language is perfect for her character of a detective.  Gauhar Khan is good except in the climax.  She wastes the opportunity to make an impact.  Lastly, Sarah Jane Dias makes a decent debut.  She looks stunning but has little scope to showcase any acting talent.  Perhaps her next film will give more insight into her potential as an actress.

All in all, Excel Productions continues the tradition of making interesting films.  The only problem I have with the film is that there are a lot of holes in the plot.  For example, why was Sarah Jane Dias’ character roaming around the streets of Mumbai in the middle of the night?

Game is a good film.  It is unfortunate that it faired so badly at the box office. It deserved much better.  The critics are not always right, but yet their words can influence the fate of a film.  The aam jaanta needs to understand that critics are individuals, and each individual has his own taste.  A script may have holes in it (and Game’s script does) but the film as a whole can STILL be entertaining.  Give Game a chance if you haven’t already.

Rating:  3 stars

bollywoodaddict