When I was a child, I would like reading books. As I was not the intelligent kind, I never read classic literature. I read thrillers and detective novels. The beauty of thrillers and detective novels was to read as the mystery unravels, as the story twist and turns and ends to a perfect climax. I would be so excited reading that I wanted to finish the novel in one go without jumping to the end. After all the fun was as much as in the journey as it was in the climax.
As I watched “Johnny Gaddar” (JG), I felt the same rush, the same excitement and the same fun of reading a thriller novel and this ends in less than three hours. JG is a fast paced thriller. The question here is not about who did it but about, he did it, now what?
It about a gang of 5 people headed by Dharmendra, called Sheshadri, a one-time smuggler who now buys and sells some illegal stuff. Then there is Shiva, a wrestler, Prakash, owner of a gambling den, Shardul, owner of a night club and Vikram, a person who works in stock.
The task is simple. everyone chips in 50 Lakhs each and the task is to just buy some stuff that they can sell double the amount. Its a simple task when one of them is killed and the money disappears. Its obvious that one of them is the culprit. Audience knows it but they don’t and thats the fun as to how they find it.
Its not worth telling the story because its worth seeing that on the screen. I had liked Sriram Raghavan’s “Ek Hasina Thi” too and this is so much better.
All the actors are good. Dharmendra as Sheshadri, Vinay Pathak is always the best, Zakir Hussain as Shardul and Neil Mukesh as Vikram. The music is good and used quite effectively in the story itself especially when Vikram plays the pulsating “Doob ja mere pyar main” on high volume in his home.
And then there is tribute to the 70s and the era gone by. Right from the credits when the director pays tribute to Vijay Anand and James Hardley Chase, Rimi Sen is shown reading “Guide” and some time later Neil is shown reading James hardley Chase novel. The reference to the plot of Parwana, a Amitabh Bachchan movie to using Vijay Anand’s “Johnny Mera Naam” in the story. Its all there. There is even a tribute (I think) to Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s “Anand” just before the interval.
The story is different and its fun guessing the twist that would come next. In the first half hour we were wondering what was happening and in the second half we were just blown over. The movie did not feel like it was more than 2 hours.
A good thriller but again the audience was far less than expected but again we were watching a 9:15 PM show. Dhamaal was doing better in the next screen.