Cash

See, a heist movie typically has three parts:

  1. The Setup: Introduce the characters, give some idea of how they relate to each other, explain why they’re interested/involved in the crime to be committed. You don’t have to be elaborate, or even truthful here. The idea is to just set things up before the actual heist. Introduce the MacGuffin – the thing to be stolen. This could be any damn thing, even a hermetically sealed container with Picasso’s turd. It just has to exist, or be thought to exist, and be difficult to get.
  2. The Job: Design a reasonably interesting, complicated and thrilling sequence where the MacGuffin is stolen. You can do this in utter silence, like in Rififi, or with a whole bunch of cars, guns and whatever-else-you-can-throw-in.
  3. The Aftermath: This is where things unravel. Law enforcement on the criminals’ trail, double-crossing, missed messages… in the end, some die, some live and someone (maybe even the police) gets the MacGuffin.

Like Skip says in Bull Durham, “This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. You got that?”

Mr. Anubhav Sinha, are you even listening?

Nah, he’s too busy making the film look stylish.

To give him credit, he got the setup and the job mostly right. The script glossed over things it would’ve done better to explain, but it wasn’t a bad heist operation per se. The characters seemed interesting, the banter was borderline witty and occasionally good, the location was scenic… Then it all goes to hell in the second half. Instead of the plan unravelling, the movie does. Too many loose ends, too many idiots, too little logic. It’s quite sad when you consider that this could’ve been a decent movie.

The other big grouse I have is with the action sequences. It’s okay to have some animation thrown in – it’s fairly cool when you see it the first time around. But switching to animation where the live-action stunt gets to the difficult part is cheating. Dude, when they say escapist entertainment, they mean for us, not you.

The acting is strictly okay for the most part. Ajay Devgan does okay, except he shows more cleavage than Shamita Shetty and nearly as much as Himesbhai did in AKS. Shamita Shetty looks good, does passably with a horribly written character, and has an unfortunate tendency to say “Mind blowing” at random occasions. Given how much mind her character has, I suppose it wouldn’t take much blowing. Esha Deol does the best she can to look hot, but now that the surprise of Dhoom has worn off, her cuteness reasserts itself and makes it difficult for us to consider her as a serious sex symbol. Zayed Khan does pretty much what he’s been doing in just about every movie. Suniel Shetty and Dia Mirza don’t fare too well, but manage not to sink the movie – the script does that all by itself.

Which leaves us with the one performance I really enjoyed: Ritesh Deshmukh. The guy has grown into a good comic actor, and steals every scene he is in. He is probably the best reason to watch Cash. I’d like to see him in another movie, preferably one with a script.

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3 thoughts on “Cash

  1. S says:

    Can’t believe I missed this laugh riot of a review!

    ROFL @ MacGuffin = Container with Picasso’s turd! And Anubhav Sinha’s action sequences answering to the adage: When the going gets tough, the tough get groaning. (In other words, ok yours, “when they say escapist entertainment, they mean for us, not you.”) 🙂

    Reading what you say about Cash reminded me of another awesome dissection of a heist movie, this one a classic: Dog Day Afternoon.
    http://www.onstory.tv/411

    I couldn’t find the link but there’s also this super passionate discussion between Shane Black (Iron Man 3 writer) and the screenwriter of LA Confidential, essentially about what “neo noir” is and isn’t, but they also touched on things like actorly range, highlighting Bogey and his back to back turn essaying two blindingly different roles. Think it was Spade in Maltese Falcon and Blaine in Casablanca, within a year of each other, making both roles incredibly believable.

    • You might be the only one who has actually read this post, which is a pretty big deal, given that I might be the only one who has actually seen the damn movie.

      I wrote this back in the day when I still had enough nastiness left in me , and watched enough tripe that deserved it. The days, there’s neither time nor nasty left in the tank.

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