Movie Review: Fight Club ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageFilm: "Fight Club"; Cast: Dino Morea, Zayed Khan, Ashish Chowdhary, Riteish Deshmukh, Sohail Khan, Ashmit Patel, Rahul Dev, Yash Tonk, Suniel Shetty, Amrita Arora and Diya Mirza; Director: Vivek Chopra; Rating: * 1/2

Cool crap... That just about defines what debutant director Vicky Chopra attempts in this fight-to-finish stunt-and-grunt moan-and-frown actioner.

There is nothing wrong with being cool. Even crap is okay... as long as it's properly packaged.

And packaging is certainly a plus in "Fight Club". Edited by Rameshwar S. Bhagat and designed to appeal to the 18-year-old in the audience, this feverish homage to the spirit of Farhan Akhtar's "Dil Chahta Hai" takes the "Rang De Basanti" theme of male bonding to heights of 'gory'.

Fists fly, jaws smash, pelvises pound as the four cool dudes Dino, Riteish, Zayed and comic relief Ashish Chowdhary get together to whoop it up. For a long period of narration you wonder what this mish-smash is leading up to.

The plot meanders even as our heroes squander their energy in fighting each other and enemies who seem to subscribe more to the slick than the sixth sense.

They dress like urban cowboys and behave like Clint Eastwood on acid.

"Fight Club" takes time to get to the point. When it finally does so, you wonder if the wait was worth it. As our quartet of cool heroes are joined by a purportedly super-cool Sohail Khan to run a rowdy club on the Delhi-Haryana border, you begin to look at the feisty feel-cooked film not as a cohesive story but a series of music-video images brought together in a groovy packaging.

Indeed, the editing is crisp, the camerawork - credited to three different cinematographers and especially the good-looking cast help to keep audiences in their seats.

But at the end of the take, what are we paying money to watch? A bunch of not unlikeable actors having themselves a great time at our expense. The fun factor generated by the actors in "Dil Chahta Hai" was contagious. In "Fight Club" it's intriguing at the most, annoying to say the least.

Of the likeable cast Dino Morea stands out. His cool demeanour is supported by a semblance of thought process that his co-stars seem to find irrelevant. Ashish's comic act is amusing when it doesn't go over-the-top.

When he isn't busy listening to Pritam's pounding music and the heroes' pounding fists director Chopra avoids the tendency to over-state his point.

The cool postures are often out of images created for alcohol and cigarette ads. Ashmit Patel as a longhaired smoking and smirking hit man seems to have emerged out of a Quentin Tarantino flick. He typifies the nowhere mood ambience and aura of this partly-spaghetti-western-partly-masala concoction.

The fights are the centrepieces staged with energy and élan. The romantic bits between Dino-Amrita Arora and Zayed-Diya Mirza bring the plot to a halt. Just goes to prove... Hindi films will remain Hindi films.

That's audiences' cue to go to the loo. And never return, if they so wish.