Whatever little success the film is likely to enjoy would be largely due to Ranbir’s histrionics, as also the free-flowing lyrical nature of the dialogues – especially in the first half.
Young Jagga (Ranbir Kapoor) is adept at investigating cases and arriving at theories. When his father ‘Tooti-Footi’ (Saswata Chatterjee – the assassin in ‘Kahaani’) disappears and is presumed dead, Jagga, after fortuitously – in true Bollywood style – meeting journalist Shruti (Katrina Kaif) tries to locate his missing father. The two traverse through the Dark Continent – from the glitzy outdoors of South Africa to the desert terrain of Morocco – to achieve their objective.
Technically the film can’t be faulted, but it’s in the conception of writer-director Anurag Basu that the flaws lie. For one, the filmmakers can’t seem to make up their minds whether the finished product should have been a musical, a rom-com, or an action-cum-adventure film.
With almost two-and-a-half dozen songs – most of them in the nature of lilting dialogues, a time-tested romantic pair in Ranbir and Katrina, and locations as exotic and varied as Cape Town, Morocco and Darjeeling – it’s difficult to slot the film into a particular genre.
Though the stuttering Ranbir as Jagga makes his presence felt in almost every frame he’s in – with Katrina providing the glamour quotient, the better scenes of the film are between Ranbir and the fiendish Saurabh Shukla, out to force Jagga into parting with an incriminating video cassette. The talented Chatterjee and Shukla have not been provided ample scope to display their prowess.
Basu’s attempt at inserting the arms-dropping Purulia incident of the mid-90s seems like a good backdrop for a thriller, but was it necessary for the journalist to discuss the intricacies of the case with the children? Also, Ranbir and Katrina conveniently have at their disposal, ample getaway modes of transport whenever in distress.
At one point in the film, when Katrina asks the children “bore ho gaye na?”, I could hear suppressed chuckles around the auditorium. Well, I couldn’t hold back mine.