Films | Rajdhani Express – Movie Review

Rajdhani Express – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on January 4, 2013 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Ritika Kohli, Rajesh Patel, Manoj Kejriwal
DIRECTOR – Ashok Kohli
WRITER – Ashok Kohli
CAST – Leander Paes, Jimmy Shergill, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sudhanshu Pandey, Puja Bose, Sayali Bhagat, Gulshan Grover and Mukesh Rishi
MUSIC – Lahu Yadav and Ritesh Nalini

We have seen a lot of multiple stories in non-linear narratives. So much so that the trend that began as a refreshing change from staid, plaid narratives, now has begun to seem way too conventional. It doesn’t help that gimmicky Bollywood chooses to use it as a one-trick pony at the cost of everything else that goes into making the experience work.

Rajdhani Express also comes with not one but two chips on its shoulders. Woven in a non-linear, multiple tracks narrative, it centres on exposing the social realities of our times. This intends to give the theme heft but ultimately proves too big a burden for it to carry.
A bunch of people are stuck together in a railway compartment, held hostage by an ex-goon Keshav (Leander Paes) trying to run away from his life of crime. These include a Bengali Bollywood scriptwriter PC Bannerjee (Priyanshu Chatterjee, a Bollywood item girl Sunita (Puja Bose) and Bollywood fashion designer Munish ( Sudhanshu Pandey). They begin by playing a game of truth which soon turns into a hostage drama with Keshav at the helm. Quickly a rumour of a terrorist attack is spread and hell breaks loose.

There is also a Hindi classicist TTE played by Gulshan Grover, police Inspectors Jimmy Sheirgill, Shilpa Shukla and Mukesh Rishi and a news reporter Achint Kaur that are at the fringes of this drama.

The film is told from the point of view of exposing the socio-political realities of our times and seems current in its message given the socio-political upheavals India has recently been seeing. However, there is a distinct lack of tact that renders the possibly genuine intention awry.

The production values of the film including the creative aspect let it down unforgivably. Tacky sets and costumes, very poor editing and equally banal acting become the prime culprits in an already half-heartedly thought-out story. Priyanshu Chatterjee plays his part as a caricature while Jimmy Sheirgill seems to be sleepwalking with a constant frown. Sudhanshu Pandey displays his usual deliberate stubbiness and Puja Bose unfortunately is very missable in the mayhem. As for Leander Paes, the tennis ace, despite brooding looks and intense glares that seem to come with a lot of effort, he simply doesn’t portray any skill for acting. There is Sayali Bhagat and a romantic track between the two as well with the lady having too little to do to write about.

A lack of vision and a clearly confused screenplay leaves with us an experience that simply isn’t worth it.

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