Dienstag, 11. September 2007

Plan (2004) - Review in English

About the story: In a train compartment four young men meet on their way to Mumbai: Bobby (Dino Morea) wants to become a film star; Omi (Rohit Roy) was sent by his father to find a man who had robbed him; Jai (Bikram Saluja) flees from an arranged engagement and hopes to find his lost love again; and Lucky (Sanjay Suri), a passionate gambler, left his stifling home village behind him. With the help of a friend they find shelter together in a building to be demolished, but in other respects they are cursed with bad luck. When they run out of money, they put all their eggs into one basket – but for once, Lucky loses a game, and now the four of them have to clear gambling debts of 700.000 rupees within seven days. A business man who regularly visits a bar spending large sums of money inspires them to a plan to kidnap him and to press ransom. But their supposedly harmless victim turns out to be underworld don Moosa Bhai (Sanjay Dutt) who, however, spares his kidnappers and doesn’t bump them off as he realizes that they, by kidnapping him, have foiled a plan of his rival Sultan (Mahesh Manjrekar) to get him murdered...

After Kaante, Plan was the second film of Sanjay Gupta’s and Sanjay Dutt’s production house White Feather Films starring Sanju in a leading role, and at least in this point they banked on the formula for success well-tested in Kaante – Sanjay Dutt as a cool and very, very stylish gangster who sings at least one song himself (in this case "Aim Kaim") and with his sex appeal and a seductive female co-star makes another song to a hot central clip; and even though "Pyar Aaya" cannot completely match up to Kaante’s "Ishq Samunder", it is still a terrific number. Sanju’s partner here is Priyanka Chopra who, however and unlike Isha Koppikar in Kaante, is not just an item girl but plays the female lead as Moosa’s self-confident girlfriend Rani, and Priyanka does a splendid job though her screentime is very limited. On the other hand, Sameera Reddy as Sapna, Riya Sen as Shalini and Payal Rohatgi as Tanya surely would have been grateful if they had got to do at least nearly as much as Priyanka. But what to do: Plan is – like Kaante – a men’s film.

But at this point the parallels to Kaante are ending. In Kaante, Sanjay Dutt had been one of six crooks and had to share the part of the leading man at least with Amitabh Bachchan. Plan, however, is completely his film. Even though it takes an hour until he steps into the story, he immediately grabs the film and leaves neither his four impeded kidnappers a chance nor his enemies from the underworld. The best match up to him is probably Mahesh Manjrekar: The Vaastav director delivers another appealing performance as an actor after his Bali in Kaante. As Moosa’s and Sultan’s boss Ali Bhai Mukesh Khanna gives a short appearance – for Sanju surely a nice reunion with his co-star from many films of the 90es. Dino Morea, Rohit Roy, Bikram Saluja and Sanjay Suri are all doing well, and Priyanka Chopra is, as I said, a little highlight of the film, and this explicitly not just because she is a very attractive appearance on stylish Moosa Bhai’s side.

Sanju, however, outshines them all. He plays Moosa with style and energy and once again mixes up ice-cold and heart-warm facets as only he is able to. As an actor he is really a top gangster – and all the more funny is the scene where Dino Morea as wannabe actor Bobby blames kidnapped Moosa (whom he still takes for a harmless business man, not believing his claims to be a don) to be a lousy actor and tells him that he, Bobby, now would show him how to credibly play a gangster. Whereupon Dino imitates, of all things, Sanju’s award-winning role of Raghubhai in Vaastav while Sanju watches him with a glance like "oh yes, really?". This scene is just to kill yourself laughing, and I’m sure that Sanju, Dino and of course even Vaastav director Mahesh had a ball while doing it.

Plan is one of the films I always recommend immediately when someone wants to experience Sanjay Dutt in a cool role. All the more as this film – as soon as you have once watched it completely, of course – comes in very useful if you in between don’t have enough time for a whole full-length movie: Just hop over the first hour and enjoy Sanju at his best. :)

Produced by Sanjay Gupta; Directed by Hriday Shetty
145 Min.; DVD: Spark, English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali

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