Montag, 17. September 2007

Taxi No. 9211 (2006; narrator) - Review in English

In this film Sanjay is just the narrator!

About the story: Jai Mittal (John Abraham), son of a millionaire, always was interested just in the pleasant sides of life and is flabbergasted when he after his father’s death comes to know that his father has left his entire property to his old friend Arjun Bajaj (Shivaji Satham). He insists on another testament which makes him his father’s heir and files a suit. But the evening before the court hearing Jai has an accident with his car so that next morning he is forced to take a taxi. Of all taxis, he gets into the one of choleric misanthrope Raghav Shastri (Nana Patekar) who soon is unnerved by Jai’s arrogant behaviour. To top it all, Raghav meets with an accident, and while he starts fighting with the other party, Jai skives off. But when he wants to take the testament out of a safe-deposit box he realizes that he has lost the box key in Raghav’s taxi. Jai is hell-bent to get the key back – but Raghav is similarly hell-bent to score off this arrogant millionaire, so soon both of them fight each other with all means...

When a star does a cameo or a guest appearance, I love to speculate why he did it and to whom he possibly did a favour with it. There could be several reasons for Sanjay volunteering as narrator in Taxi No. 9211 (for which he was appreciated with "Special Thanks" in the credits). Maybe it was Milan Luthria, his director from Deewaar, whom "Allah’s pride" wanted to rejoyce. Maybe it was John Abraham whom Sanju with this gesture thanked for their cooperation in Zinda. But it’s also possible that Sanjay just simply liked this film, and it would be fully comprehensible.

Taxi No. 9211 is more than just a contest of rich against poor. Both main characters are beautifully shaped with both positive and negative sides so that the viewer makes heavy weather of taking sides, for essentially you would like to grant success to both of them; more than that, both characters develop and change during the film. Nana Patekar is the choleric and loser who for his pride even puts his happy family life with his wife and son at stake by lying to his wife Sunita (Sonali Kulkarni) that he works as an insurance agent while he is actually a taxi driver. John Abraham plays the classical yuppie who just by mentioning his name expects people to go down on their knees before him and who, however, has to undergo an enormous change of thinking when, facing defeat in his fight for his inheritance, his friends turn away from him – including Rupali (Sameera Reddy) whom he wanted to marry. John and Nana with devotion fight their running battle about safe-deposit box key and testament, and they don’t spare each other. But they also credibly carve out how their characters – after the crucial experience of suddenly being left completely alone – by and by start changing their attitude against each other and against the people around them.

Both their partners – Sonali Kulkarni and Sameera Reddy – give them wonderful support; Kurush Deboo as safe-deposit box manager Batliwala is delightfully funny; and also Priyanka Chopra enrichens the film by a short and very vivacious guest appearance. Not to mention Sanju’s unique voice at the beginning of the film. But all in all, Taxi No. 9211 is completely Nana’s and John’s film and is, in short, high class. An unconditional recommendation.

Produced by Ramesh Sippy; Directed by Milan Luthria
114 Min.; DVD: UTV, English Subtitles (including songs); the DVD also contains a Making Of and Milan Luthria’s commentaries about the film. You even get a colourful brochure with information about film, actors and crew.
© Diwali

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