The first scene of the movie when the “Universal” globe comes into the screen with Swapna Awasti’s voice crooning “Chaiya Chaiya” in the background, I smiled. Then as the movie progressed, I smiled and then I smiled and then I smiled again.
Spike Lee directed “Inside Man” is such a movie which will make you smile because its not a sweet romantic love story or feel good movie. You smile because the movie is so intelligent that you can’t help smiling. It’s a game. A perfect cat and mouse game where each side tries to outwit the other.
“Inside Man” starts with “Chaiya Chaiya” from “Dil Se” playing in the background and then Clive Owen comes on the screen telling he has planned a perfect bank robbery because obviously for the money and because he can.
The next moment four people enter a bank and try to rob it. It quickly turns into a hostage situation. The police negotiators are brought in and then starts a game of cat and mouse to outwit each other. It becomes difficult to say who is negotiating and who is controlling the negotiations.
Right from the start, the lines are drawn. You know the good guys and you know the bad guys, the question remains why and how?
IM is a clever, witty thriller. The story goes back and forth from the bank robbery to the hostage testimony. The story builds on these testimonies and the ongoing of the robbery. Things get more complicated when a mysterious power broker, Madeline White played by Jodie Foster arrives at the scene to negotiate with the robbers. She has a hidden agenda while she makes the situation more volatile.
The movie has its bad point with unnecessary pointers to racism and holocaust. Watch out for a Sikh being called an Arab. Also at the end the heist sounds too easy and a number of things are left unanswered like the police not searching the bank properly after it ends.
Denzel Washington plays Detective Keith Frazier who plays the main negotiator in the movie. Willem Dafoe plays Captain John Darius who is the police chief for the situation. He does not much to do though.
Clive Owen plays Dalton Russel the cold witty bank robber chief but then he remains in a mask for most part of the movie.
Spike Lee direction is good but he looks to be supported by good script.
All in all a good thriller which can hold your attention for more than 2 hours