Subhash K Jha speaks about Speed


By IndiaFM

Suhasini Mulay as the Indian prime minister on a potentially dangerous visit to London makes you groan, especially when she turns around to her private guard in London and says, "I'm fine. I'm safe. Go enjoy with your girlfriend."

With heads of state behaving like corny giddy headed cupids, the politics of our cinema is in serious danger of being aborted. We as a nation are doomed.After trying his hand at an interesting ORIGINAL screenplay in Life Mein Kabhi Kabhi, Vikram Bhatt is back to doing what he's known for - adapting Hollywood films, preferably with Aftab Shivdasani in the lead. Aftab who has played virtually everything from Vikram Bhatt (in Ankahee) to a murderer (Kasoor) to a philanderer (Red) to a social outcast (Footpath) in Bhatt’s cinema is cast as the arch-villain in Speed. With flowing hair and dark glasses and dressed in an overcoat Aftab looks as menacing as a little boy with his toy gun in a departmental store. Villainy, Aftab, is not your cup of steaming tea.

Urmila who plays Aftab's kidnap victim has always been adept at playing traumatized characters. From being possessed by a bhoot in Ram Gopal Varma's film to being harassed by an international terrorist with a mean moll (Sophie Chowdhary) Urmila makes the leap with screams of pain and anguish.

Zayed Khan is the comic element in this over-fermented yoghurt from espionage kingdom. He's the guy who descends on London to pacify his girlfriend. But look what the plot dragged in!

Most of Urmila's and Zayed's acting in Speed has to be done on the phone as she instructs him as to how to get her out of captivity. Essentially the two actors have to speak into a phone and pretend they can hear their ally on the other side. Phone-acting, as any actor would tell you, is tough.

To sustain a two-hour thriller on the phone line is even tougher. At times Vikram Bhatt seems to have directed this restless rip-off over the phone. Where's that sense of urgency that separates a genuine edge-of-the-seater from its bogus counterparts? We either have scenes that try to be cute or try to be sinister. You'd need placards to tell the two moods apart.

The London locations do nothing to give location equanimity to the plot. The editing (Hemal Kothari) tries to give a character and profile to the tense plot rather than focusing on apportioning close-ups to the actors.

The film's worst performance comes from Ashish Chowdhary who gives cocaine-snorting a really bad name by doing it so badly. The best performance in the film comes from Sanjay Suri as the kidnapped woman's chef-husband. Suri is reliable. This film is not.