By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "Sankat City"; Director: Pankaj Advani; Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Anupam Kher, Rimi Sen, Chunkey Pandey, Dilip Prabhawalkar, Rahul Dev, Yashpal Sharma, Hemant Pandey, Jehangir Khan, Manoj Pahwa; Rating: ***
"Sankat City" is one of those rare movies that have a dozen odd characters, all of whom are not just connected to one another but even contribute to the film's main plot. This is the reason why none of them can be called a supporting actor since they are all the principal protagonists in the film.
Let's begin with the least known names first. If one leaves out Hemant Pandey (Philip Fattu) then the brain child of the climax of "Sankat City" would go missing. If one ignores Jehangir Khan (Lovely) then the muscle power would lose its meaning. If Manoj Pahwa (Gogi Kukreja) is removed from the plot, then the story won't move forward. And if Yashpal Sharma's (Pachisia) importance is forgotten then the entire 'con' angle would be diluted.
All credit to debutante writer-director Pankaj Advani who brings them all together along with a more experienced star cast and spins a tale that is as original as it gets. Yes, Advani has carefully studied Guy Ritchie's way of filmmaking - "Snatch", "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" - something which clearly reflects in the way he has spun the tale of "Sankat City".
So what you get to see is a series of events that are all related to one another with practically every scene beginning from where the previous one left. There are no 'jump movements' in the narrative, which could have been a possibility had an amateur been at the helm of affairs.
Advani keeps things under check for most part of the film's narrative.
What mars the film to an extent though are the production values, which can be termed below average. Lack of funds is clearly visible in all departments - whether it is art direction, choreography, sets or locations.
Two years back we saw "Johnny Gaddaar", which was again a thriller and made a much better impression since it boasted of neat visuals. In case of "Sankat City", lack of visual appeal proves to be a major hindrance.
But this is compensated by a good storyline that keeps you involved for most of the film. While the initial portions of the movie are a cracker, what with a dozen odd characters being introduced, what keeps the wheels moving is the entire 'money' angle - The way different people are connected to the same amount of money is brilliantly executed.
Around the interval point the grip becomes a little loose while in the second half there is a see-saw in the narrative. The climax is well-spun though and comes with good twists and turns.
Also, the ending of "Sankat City" is a little too sudden. An epilogue would have perhaps made it an even more entertaining watch.
Still, it's the collective prowess of Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon and Rimi Sen that makes "Sankat City" a comfortable one time watch at the least.