Planet Bollywood
Producer: Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Pvt. Ltd.
Director: Sanjay Gadhvi
Starring: Imran Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Minissha Lamba, Vidya Malvade, Rahul Dev, Malaika Arora, Amrita Arora, Reema Lagoo, Raj Zutshi
Music: Pritam, Sanjay and Sandeep Vyas
Lyrics: Mayur Puri
Genre: Thriller
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 2 hrs 30 min
Film Released on: 02 October 2008
Reviewed by: Joxily John  - Rating: 4.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Aamir uncle did successfully launch his nephew Imran in his home production JAANE TU YA JAANE NA. But if Aamir did have any advise for his favorite nephew, it would go like this, “beta Imran, KIDNAP is exactly the kind of cinema that I warned you about!”

Why? You may ask. The answer is quite obvious to those moviegoers who detested that thing called DHOOM 2. However, considering its box office success and shockingly strong presence at the award ceremonies, there still seems to be a lot of explaining to do.

KIDNAP is a film that aspires to be a Hollywood style thriller but with the conventional Bollywood revenge plot thrown into it. Ultimately, it’s a movie that works as neither.

Sanjay Gadhvi, the director behind the DHOOM franchise, could have come up with something original. But the man is evidently stuck in a world where DVD inspirations are many, and originality and creativity seem to be reaping no benefits. So is this silly cat and mouse game Gadhvi’s idea of entertainment?

The plot is pretty straightforward. The movie starts off with drawings that take us through the life of a young boy who spends his youth in jail. As the credits roll, we are shown the agony and torture that the boy goes through. So far so good.

Cut to the present day, where we are shown Sonia (Minissha Lamba) dancing away in the streets and beaches merrily. However, her merry habits land herself in a bit of trouble with her mother Mallika (Vidya Malvade). Sonia has been living with her mother and Grandmother since the divorce of her parents. A few days before her 18th birthday, she is in for a big surprise when she realizes that she’s been abducted, tied, and locked up in a basement by a young stranger by the name of Kabir (Imran Khan).

Kabir obviously uses Sonia to get hold of her father, the super rich businessman Vikrant Raina (Sanjay Dutt). But it certainly does not seem to be the money that Kabir is after. Kabir is looking to settle some old scores. Since clues are all that Kabir is willing to offer, Vikrant tries to trace down the man and his intentions. And for once, Vikrant realizes that he does not hold the upper hand in this deal.

To begin with, the film does not really get going from the basic storyline. It’s just some Hollywood inspired sequences strung together in the name of a thriller without really giving enough meat to any of the characters.

Maybe the problem lies with Sanjay Gadhvi who does not seem to believe in straightforward villains anymore. Instead, he makes a hero out of his make-belief baddies. So if Hrithik stole the limelight in DHOOM 2, this time it is Imran Khan.

However in no way is Imran’s performance as polished as it was in his debut film. Here, with his paused dialogue delivery and his stern unwavering expressions, there seems to be a laborious attempt on display here. At times you even feel like Gadhvi is trying to get a Hrithik out of the young lad. In fact, Imran Khan looked more dangerous with JAANE TU’s anger streak than with anything he did in this flick.

Sanjay Dutt also proves to be a misfit. To begin with he could not get the body language right for his businessman role. It is evident when he addresses board meetings as if it is a scene from Munnabhai Goes to Wall Street. He’s obviously out of his elements here. And Dutt, in a role that has a no-gun policy, we know that this is never going to be the David vs Goliath friction that we were hoping for. Instead, he is asked to play a domesticated avatar that makes him a second fiddle.

And being a Gadhvi film, the heroines are purely there for eye candy purposes. While Minissha Lamba is left to show off the latest in swim/gym wear, Vidya Malvade is asked to play Minissha’s mothers role, and that too while sporting a wardrobe that leaves her gasping for air. Reema Lagoo and Rahul Dev would even be wondering what exactly are they doing in this film.

If that was glam, then Gadhvi needs to move to his next area of expertise – style. So we have Sanjay Dutt riding the latest cars, bikes, before settling for the local train. Imran has a blast climbing walls, and leaping across while a duplicate is made to run around the young boy embarrassingly trying to pass off as Sanjay Dutt.

Someone who really misses the train this time around is Pritam. Pritam who has been giving us chartbusters, one after another seem to have failed to come up with anything worthwhile this time around. Even the background score was equally laughable. I am rechecking the credits..and oh yes, it still reads Pritam. Really?

Also it can be easily agreed that if you are playing games, make sure Sanjay Gadhvi is not invited. Last time he made Abhishek crack the ‘seven dwarves code’ in order to nab his rival. This time we are given more inane akkadi bakkadi riddles and clues, making this one of the worst cat and mouse games in recent cinema outings.

Dialogues never really match up, neither does the screenplay. Even the motive behind the revenge drama does not exactly move you, thus failing to create any major impact. And in that bargain, we never get the edge-of-your-seat thriller that we were promised. And with the song department also failing to sizzle, this film really has only a decent performance of Imran Khan to stay afloat.

So overall, KIDNAP can be summed up as a big disappointment of a thriller. As a viewer in the theatre, you too will probably agree when Imran Khan proclaims, “Hell is right here!”

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