Star cast: Anuuj Saxena, Udita Goswami, Tarina Patel, Rajesh Khattar, Samir Kochhar, Aditya Raj Kapoor, Gulshan Grover (special appearance).

Plot: Anuuj is on the run. Chasing him are Rajesh Khattar and Samir Kochar, both police officers. Helping him escape are Udita and Tarina. Why is he running? What does the police want from him?

What’s Good: The chase sequences, the title song.

What’s Bad: The screenplay of convenience.

Verdict: Debacle.

Loo break: Several because the drama doesn’t create half as much excitement as is needed in a thriller.

Maverick Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s Chase (UA), as the title suggests, is a chase drama. Sohail Ansari (Anuuj Saxena) is on the run. DIG Ranveer Tyagi (Rajesh Khattar) and his deputy, Inspector Siddharth (Samir Kochhar) are hot on his trail. While on the run, Sohail gets injured and goes into a vegetative state. Although his eyes are open, he has lost most of his senses and is unable to see, smell or feel. Nupur Chauhan (Udita Goswami) is deputed as the nurse to look after Sohail when he is admitted to a hospital by the DIG.

Surbhee (Tarina Patel) is Sohail’s colleague and girlfriend. She tries her best to convince the DIG that Sohail is not the dreaded terrorist he is assumed to be but rather, he is a freelance photographer working for the same television channel as her. The DIG, of course, is not prepared to listen. Then one day, Nupur becomes instrumental in Sohail’s escape from the hospital and the police.

The true identities of Sohail and Nupur are revealed one after another. Alongside those are revealed the hidden motives of the DIG and his deputy as also of industrialist Khanna (Aditya Raj Kapoor). There’s also a mystery man, Anthony D’costa (Gul- shan Grover in a special appearance).

The story is juvenile and the screenplay, so full of holes that it would appear as if no thought went into the writing process. For instance, Nupur keeps getting the feeling that her patient, Sohail Ansari, is in his senses and is only pretending to be in a vegetative state. And yet, she does precious little to clear her doubts. It doesn’t need to be emphasised that there are a thousand ways to make a man, pretending to be in a comatose-like situation, to react to something like, say, a tickle, a pinch, a needle-prick or whatever. The mind games Sohail plays with the DIG are childish, to say the least. Planting a chip in someone’s wrist watch so that the one planting it is privy to all conversation of that person with others is also a very done-to-death idea to nail down the person.

Sohail Ansari hiding the tiny cassette with incriminating evidence, in an artefacts shop, and downloading the same evidence on his laptop computer before that are both very convenient links to further the thrilling drama, without which the thrill element would’ve been dramatically reduced. In other words, the screenplay doesn’t flow in the normal course but is rather designed to reach the climax – and the design shows very blatantly.

In spite of the weak screenplay, the chase sequences, especially in the beginning, are interesting and exciting. But it’s a mystery why Inspector Siddharth’s revolver keeps missing its target, Sohail Ansari, every single time. The police encounter at the roadside dhaba (where Surbhee meets Sohail) looks ridiculous, to say the least.

Anuuj Saxena makes a weak debut as hero. He looks average and his performance is also not of the kind which stands out. Udita Goswami is alright in the limited scope she gets. Tarina Patel passes muster. Rajesh Khattar and Samir Kochhar are alright but the script doesn’t give them enough power, despite their positions, to either assert authority or the terror they are capable of creating. Aditya Raj Kapoor acts in a monotonous style, his expressions being fixed, whatever the scene. Gulshan Grover has a tiny role and makes his presence felt. Sanjay Mishra is hopelessly wasted. Geeta Khanna and the other actors fill the bill.

Jag Mundhra’s direction, like the script, treads the beaten path, offering no novelty to the audience. Once the true identities of the characters are revealed mid-way through the film, there’s very little to hold the viewers’ interest. The title song, composed by Friedbrainmusic.com and rendered by Wajid, is racy and sets the mood of the film but, unfortunately, there’s not much thereafter to keep up the promise made by the track. The other songs (composed by Vijay Verma and Udbhav Ojha) are just about okay. Amar Mohile’s background score may lack freshness but it at least enhances the impact of the chase sequences. Uday Tiwari’s camerawork, Prateek Pandiya and Ram Singh’s editing and Vikram Biswas and Noel D’souza’s sound design are alright.

On the whole, Chase is not the kind of film the public will chase. Given its poor start on the one hand and the lack of merits on the other, it will go largely unnoticed at the box-office.

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