Reviewing the Reviews: Players

09 Jan,2012


Key Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu

Directed By: Directed by: Abbas Mustan

Screenplay by: Rohit Jugraj, Sudip Sharma

Produced by: Studio 18

Doesn’ t happen too often that critics are unanimous in their panning of one film. This feat was achieved by Abbas-Mustan’s Players.


It was laughed at for uinintentiona1 stupidity, made worse by the fact that is was an official remake of The Italian Job, which is classic heist thriller made in 1969 and 2003, of which the director duo have made a right roya mess. Another bummer for Bachchan Jr. 0ne and a half to two stars across the board, except for the over generous Nikhat Kazmi of the T0I, who gave it 3.5.


Here s a selection of extracts:

Sukanya Varma, of found it lack’ustre and unimaginative: The real problem with this official remake of The Italian Job is that instead of reproducing a perfectly nuanced screenplay as it is, it tries to act too smart, with excessive elements and needless tampering, in the process making a complete fool of itself. Why can’t you stick to the plan, Bollywood? All this time we witness our filmmakers rip-off Hollywood scene-by-scene but the minute they acquire rights, they are hit by an army of brainwaves or an insuppressible need to improvise (read flounder).


Gaurav Malani, IndiaTimes Movies:After making a career out of surreptitiously remaking foreign films forever, director-duo Abbas Mustan have proved their recycling capabilities credibly enough to win the opportunity of directing an ‘official’ remake of a Hollywood flick. They have stars, budget, virgin locations and also a readymade film (rather two of them) for reference. But that know-all impudence of the directors to Indianize The Italian Job is like having a pizza with Punjabi tadka topping.


Aniruddha Guha in DNA: It takes a lot to rip off a film and make it palatable for Indian audiences, and the Men In White, Abbas bhai & Mustan bhai, have done that all their lives. But it must really take a hell lot to buy the official rights of a film, have the license to remake the film scene-by-scene and then say, “You know what, we have the rights to screw with it, so let’s do it.”


Rajeev Masand, IBN 1ive: Abbas-Mustan, who’ve successfully delivered some engaging thrillers over the years, know a thing or two about pace. ‘Players’ is packed with relentless car chases and plot twists, and the directors throw in their usual stock of skimpily dressed babes and seductive item songs. What they grapple with, unfortunately, are the little details….What fails the film after all, is the over-enthusiasm of its makers, who overstay your hospitality by dragging the film on for an unforgivable 2 hours and 45 minutes. Also, harsh as this may sound, the film suffers considerably on account of its dull cast.


Mayank Shekhar, HT: With movies per se the scene gets quite muddled up and murky. Almost always. Nothing could’ve prepared you for the moronic mayhem that follows here either. Computer hacker villain (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is now the new-age Shakaal with voice-reognition software across his deadly mansion, “Open the door, baby.” Door opens. “Shut the gate, baby.” Gate shuts. He gawks at girls at various nightclubs from his media room, flicking on screens of his giants iPads, choosing one girl for every night. BMW’s Rs 25 lakh MINI Cooper gets to insert the world’s longest 70 mm commercial through this pic, incidentally on the week of the car’s launch in India.


Karan Anshuman, Mumbai Mirror :Good films are about bringing new ideas to viewers, and Players is antithetical in this respect. In the remake, the writers substitute what little logic was there to begin with, with songs and add deliberate cheesiness to make the film more accessible for the masses. Indian filmmakers have a tendency to speak down to their audiences, but with Players one suspects that the makers truly believe that this is what cutting-edge is. Two stars, one word: random.


Shubha Shetty-Saha, Mid-Day : If English is a phunny language, Bollywood is a really phunny place. For several years, it blissfully went through a phase when Hollywood films would be copied scene by scene, with the filmmakers even while blatantly credit stealing, pretended to be making an original film. Now that our conscience is clear and we have the fear of getting sued (whichever comes first), we have started acquiring official rights of Hollywood films. And what do we do with that pricey legal document? We cock a snook at the original script; make it so Bollywoodised that the end product seems the far removed desi bred poor cousin of the original. What is the brilliant idea behind this? No idea sirji!


Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express: The guys have zero impact. So do the gals. Bipasha is same old, despite the stringiest of bikinis, and the only surprisingly not-bad thing Sonam Kapoor does is to dance dirty. In other places, she is part of the furniture. Even the iconic chase scene starring the colourful Minis, faithfully lifted from the earlier films, is long and dull. Just like the film.


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