Game is about four strangers from different countries – Abhishek Bachchan (Turkey), Jimmy Shergill (India), Boman Irani (Thailand) and Shahana Goswami (U.K.) – who are invited by billionaire Anupam Kher to his private island in Greece. Sometime after that, Kher is murdered. Kangana Ranaut is the investigating officer. Sarah Jane-Dias & Shahana Goswami are revealed to be twin daughters of Anupam Kher. The film is about the suspense of the actual murderer. Read the review for more.
Business rating: 1 star
Star cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Sarah Jane-Dias, Jimmy Shergill, Boman Irani, Shahana Goswami, Anupam Kher, Gauhar Khan.
What’s Good: The visual appeal; a few scenes.
What’s Bad: The suspense; the screenplay; the music which does not work.
Verdict: This Game will have no winners whatsoever.
Loo break: You might take a few without missing out on anything exciting.
Watch or Not? Watch at your own risk!! But yet, you may watch it for the grandeur and visual appeal.
Eros International and Excel Entertainment’s Game (UA) is a suspense thriller. Neil Menon (Abhishek Bachchan) is a casino owner in Istanbul who is in deep trouble because he owes money to creditors, which he can’t even dream of paying. Vikram Kapoor (Jimmy Shergill) is a Bollywood star, living in Bombay. On a rainy night, a girl has come under the car he is driving and even though she is not dead, he buries her fearing that it would spell disaster for his career if he owned up the accident. He has also murdered his makeup man, who was with him when the accident took place. O.P.Ramsay (Boman Irani), living in Bangkok, is a leading prime ministerial candidate of Thailand and the suspect sources of his political party’s funding are about to be exposed. Tisha Khanna (Shahana Goswami) is a crime journalist, living in London with her father (Benjamin Gilani). She has just been caught for drunk driving. All four of them receive separate invitation letters from one Kabir Malhotra (Anupam Kher). The letters individually invite Neil, Vikram and Ramsay to Samos island in Greece with proposals that can solve their problems. As for Tisha, her invitation letter promises her a sensational story which would expose scams of the decade.
Unknown to one another, the four reach Athens in Greece, from where they are taken to Samos. Once there, Kabir Malhotra reveals in front of all of them the true reason for calling them there. One of his twin daughters, Maya (Sarah Jane-Dias), had been kidnapped while she was a child and had been initiated into prostitution by O.P. Ramsay’s outfit. After many years, she has run away from the outfit and joined Neil’s casino as a dancer who had to double up as a sales agent for his drugs business. It was Maya who had been accidentally and grievously injured by Vikram Kapoor and buried alive. As for Tisha Khanna, she is Maya’s twin sister or in other words, the other daughter of Kabir and his girlfriend whom he never married and who, too, had since died. Kabir’s revelations establish that Ramsay is an underworld racketeer even though he is a prime ministerial candidate; Neil Menon is a drugs dealer; Vikram Kapoor is a murderer; and Tisha is the daughter of Kabir Malhotra. Tisha insults Kabir and tells him, she is unwilling to buy his story about her true identity. The other three, of course, are not happy with Kabir Malhotra’s revelations or so it seems.
The next day, Kabir Malhotra is found dead in his cabin in what seems to be a case of suicide. Samara Shroff (Gauhar Khan), Kabir Malhotra’s assistant, breaks the glass pane adjoining the door of the cabin which is locked from inside, and then facilitates the entry of all of them in the cabin. The will of Kabir Malhotra, it emerges, has been set on fire. Sia Agnihotri (Kangana Ranaut) and her assistant, Sunil Shrivastav (Akash Dhar), both from the International Vigilance Squad, had already been called by Kabir Malhotra for investigation, before his suicide. It is assumed that Kabir had committed suicide and the four guests are allowed to leave.
But Sia follows the case very seriously, tracking the movement of all the four. She soon realises that Neil may be the murderer. Her suspicion becomes more credible when O.P. Ramsay and Vikram Kapoor are found dead after making public confessions about their crimes and Tisha Khanna is hospitalised for attempted suicide which turns out to be an attempt by somebody on her life.
It is also revealed that Neil was in love with Maya. So who is the real murderer of Kabir Malhotra? Does Sia solve the murder case? Or who does it?
Story and Screenplay – Game Review
Althea Delmas Kaushal’s story and screenplay are too convoluted to make an impact. The suspense angle does not quite involve the viewer because he knows, none of the key suspects would be the real murderer and there is not enough revelation of the other suspects. In other words, the other suspects are, very conveniently, either introduced too late in the drama or, if introduced earlier, are not part of the drama that unfolds after the murder. A gripping suspense thriller would present all the suspects soon after the murder or, if that is not possible, would have a solid reason for the absence of some of the suspects. But in this case, there is no reason offered for introducing a new character very late in the drama or even for keeping another key character out of the post-murder drama. Consequently, the revelation of the suspense doesn’t give the audience any high – this, even though there had been a reference or a pointer or a hint of presence of a new character, in a dialogue of Kabir Malhotra. Furthermore, the identity of the co-conspirator is sought to be kept a secret till the end by showing his face a bit distortedly when he is introduced in the drama. Now, that’s hardly intelligent scripting.
There is one more major drawback of the screenplay. It moves at a fairly leisurely pace, not expected in a suspense thriller. Neil Menon’s love track with Maya further adds to the slow pace. Sia following the case in four different countries – Turkey, India, Thailand and the UK – also looks too simplistic. Dialogues (by Farhan Akhtar) are routine and could’ve been more exciting.
Star Performances – Game Review
Abhishek Bachchan does an average job. Kangana Ranaut is fair. Sarah Jane-Dias makes an impressive debut. She looks nice and acts quite well. But she gets limited scope. Jimmy Shergill also gets few scenes; he is nice. Boman Irani leaves a mark. Shahana Goswami is efficient. Anupam Kher gives a restrained and convincing performance. Gauhar Khan acts ably. Elton Vessoaker, as Vikram’s make-up man, is natural. Mohan Kapur makes his presence felt. Puranjeet Dasgupta, as Ranbir, friend of Neil Menon, is okay. Akash Dhar is convincing as Sia’s assistant, Sunil Shrivastav. Chris Williams, as Sia’s boss, Ravenscar, has his moments. Benjamin Gilani is alright.
Direction, Muisc and Editing – Game Review
Abhinay Deo’s direction is average. The pace and the excitement of a suspense thriller are missing. Although his shot takings are good, his narrative style leaves something to be desired. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is okay. The need of the film was hit music but that’s missing. Chehre pe chehra is the best song and its placement in the end rolling titles is not a very intelligent move.
Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are okay. Choreography (by Shiamak Davar and Vaibhavi Merchant) is fair. Ram Sampath’s background score is good. Kartik Vijay’s cinematography is stylish. Foreign locations are eye-filling. Action scenes (Allan Amin) are good but could’ve been better. Editing (Amitabh Shukla) ought to have been crisper.
The Last Word
On the whole, Game is a weak film with dull chances.