By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "Toss"; Cast: Prashant Raj, Ashmit Patel, Aarti Chhabria, Rannvijay Singh, Madhurima Banerjee, Shruti Gera, Zakir Hussain, Sushant Singh, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rajpal Yadav, Vijay Raaz; Director: Ramesh Khatkar; Rating: **1/2
The basic problem in this film is that despite being a thriller, it's not racy enough to make you forget your popcorn and have you glued to the screen. In fact the narrative is uneven, mainly in the first half.
On a positive side though, "Toss" gets to the point right in the opening scene. The basic plot of five friends getting hold Rs.20 crore that originally belonged to criminals (Mahesh Manjrekar and Sushant Singh) is established well and you start believing that a roller coaster ride is about to begin.
Rajpal Yadav's entry and subsequent murder is done well but then the story starts drifting away.
A couple of nightmare sequences come one after another and it seemS like a seen-it-before TV suspense drama. A Punjabi dance number only applies a speed breaker to the narrative. Not just that, the entire track featuring Rannvijay and his girlfriend Shruti Gera starts becoming repetitive after a point.
This is where Mahesh Manjrekar and Sushant Singh bring some spice to the proceedings. Along with their kid brother, they set out on a hunt for the missing booty that brings the film back on track. The cards start unfolding and with Zakir Hussain joining the scene, it becomes a three-way thriller that also takes the shape of a 'whodunit'.
What appeared to be a simple game turns out to be lethal with each of the five lead protagonists turning out to be different than what he/she was perceived to be. No one can be trusted anymore as dead bodies start piling up. The climax is decently done too though it comes at least 20 minutes after one would have imagined the film to have concluded. Also, it isn't one of those zany thrillers and remains dark throughout.
However, with the kind of subject and basic plotline in hand, writer-director Khatkar could have done much better. In fact even the choice of actors could have helped. Of the three leading ladies, the one who makes some impression is Aarti Chhabria. She plays the role of a conniving woman well.
Prashant Raj is in good form, especially in the second half. It's surprising he hasn't been seen in any film post his 'Jai' act in "Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag". Ashmit Patel does decently well while Rannvijay is relegated to being a side hero. Zakir Hussain entertains as a Goan cop.
On the flip side, the editing leaves a lot to be desired. It's not just patchy but also quite glaring in the first half of the film.
The best way to enjoy a completely unknown movie is to go with absolutely nil expectations. This is what helps a movie like "Toss", which comes literally unannounced.