Critics verdict: Maximum fails to impress

By Hindustan Times

The crime-thriller directed by Kabeer Kaushik, starring Sonu Sood, Naseerudin Shah and Neha Dhupia, fails to create the 'maximum' impact. The film revolving around cops and encounters is another run of the mill story with poor direction and a skeletal plot.

Here's what the experts have to say:

Saibal Chattarjee, NDTV
Rating: **1/2

Trigger-happy Mumbai cops gunning for gory glory have been the subject of many a Bollywood action flick of the past decade and a bit. This one promises the maximum. Does it deliver? Not quite. Maximum bites off far more than it can comfortably chew. Maximum lacks the nuanced detailing and the urgent pacing that should have automatically sprung from a theme yanked out of the internal files of a highly politicised police force.

But all said and done, Maximum isn’t a washout – not by a long chalk. It is well crafted and superbly acted. Sonu Sood in particular leaves a lasting impression as the police officer under fire for excesses committed in the line of duty. The cameos by Vinay Pathak and Rajendra Gupta are impressive. Sadly, the effort is maximum, the impact not quite so.

Gaurav Malani, TOI
Rating: Average

Naseeruddin Shah who plays an encounter specialist in the film substantiates his seniority by citing the exact number of his encounters as 56. Unfortunately Kabeer Kaushik's encounter-specialist story Maximum doesn't even come up with an original figure on the encounter count and rather derives it from the cult film in the genre - Ab Tak Chhappan (56). More unfortunately, Bollywood has encountered the quintessential encounter specialist so many times by now that there isn't anything special left about the character or his chronicle anymore.

Kabeer Kaushik might have taken references from real-life cops and incidents but he isn't able to productively put together the facts to come up with a riveting fictional account. Both his writing and direction lack innovation making the entire effort a conventional fare.

Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Rating: **

The difference between MAXIMUM and an assortment of movies that have focused on cops earlier is that this one talks of the power games that two encounter specialists indulge in. A novel thought, without an iota of doubt, but MAXIMUM suffers for a valid reason: A skeletal plot that lacks meat in its screenplay. Kabeer may've borrowed from real-life, but he isn't able to bind the incidents and episodes convincingly so as to deliver an enthralling fictional fare.

there's not much that the film offers on the table, after you're told about the two warring factions. There are sequences that seem repetitive or an extension of what one has watched earlier, besides moments that seem so hard to absorb in a realistic fare. The climax, for instance, though filmed brilliantly, looks unreal as the two cops battle it out on a secluded railway platform. Besides, the film unravels at a languid speed, which is quite a deterrent for a thriller. On the whole, MAXIMUM has an attention-grabbing premise, but lacks the meat in its screenplay to leave much of an impact.

Kunal Guha, Yahoo
Rating: Minus five

Contrary to popular belief, this film isn’t about a nighty-clad mother (maxi-mum). It is about Aamchi Mumbai- the maximum city. But director Kabeer Kaushik’s film takes minimum interest in Suketu Mehta’s interpretation of the city and if anything, only curdles it into a milkshake of clichés. So Mumbai isn’t about the ‘Mum-bhais’ anymore. It’s about trigger-happy encounter cops, dance bars which can’t be distinguished from item song shoots and a lot of people lying mum in a pool of their own blood; pretty much like the theatre screening this film.

If Sonu Sood is the last action hero, your last brain cell that survives this film should be in the next season of ‘Bigg Boss’ for its ability to endure just about anything. Why one of the finest actors of the Hindi film industry agreed to share space with this motley crew to put up a show worth forgetting, is something only Naseeruddin Shah knows.

Raja Sen, Rediff
Rating: *

Lamentably enough, Kabeer Kaushik's cop thriller is neither of those potentially fun things, and not even really a thriller. It's a pity, for Kaushik's Sehar remains one of the most solid cop movies in recent years.

This one, however, tries too hard to appear 'intelligent,' which is why voices are softened and conversations are made matter-of-fact. The idea of corrupt cops facing off against each other can be a fine one, but mired here in the midst of people saying things really really slowly, it loses its steam.

Zinia Ray, DNA
Rating: *1/2

With a film like Maximum, you go in with your hopes pegged on one person, and one person only, Naseeruddin Shah. You settle down to watch the film with fingers, arms and legs crossed hoping to have a decent time. However, Maximum proves to be a film so unsalvagable that even an actor like Shah fails to help its case.

The script fails on many levels and the film seems longer than its 150-minute duration. The events, after a point, make no sense and become hard to follow because you are just too damn bored to care anymore. And, of course, there is an item number Aa Ante Amalapuram that you need to look out for, like how you would look out for a speeding truck or a cloaked figure with a hook for a hand. Do not waste your time and money on this one.

Nabanita, Oneindia
Rating: **

The film is set in the Bombay (and not Mumbai) of the past and the story portrays encapsulates politics, land deals, and fake encounters. But, to one's expectation, the film fails to deliver the MAXIMUM as the title promises.

Talking about the performances, Sonu Sood is an encounter cop of few words and many bullets. He's the blue-eyed boy of the Establishment. A man with all the greys and all the power. Sonu has an impressive waku doki screen presence, but fails to prove himself due to weak plot. Naseeruddin in his element is an experience that needs no definition. Naseer is just dynamic waku doki. No wonder Shah just steals the show with his power pack performance. On the whole, the film certainly doesn't make any sense and fails to deliver the MAXIMUM.

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