The year – 1999
Cell phones have just entered markets but are costly. Even the incoming calls are charged. Two crooks in Mumbai who make duplicate cards goof up and are on the run from Police. They goof up further and steal a Don’s Mercedes only to ramm it against the signal.
99 is about these two crooks and much more as they take a roller coaster journey to repay the Don’s money and getting out of the whole mess. With them is a compulsive gambler who has his own theory about luck, a floor manager of a 5-Star hotel, a don who bets, a bookie and a loan shark in Delhi. All form a khichdi of fun, luck and laughter.
99 is a fun film where the twist and turn although cliched are fun to watch. Its like Johnny Gaddar but funny.
The first half slowly builds up pace for the second half. By the time the interval actually happens, the movie hasn’t done much. But then the second half the pace increases and too many things start happening. Coincidences and luck favors and starts oscillating between the characters. Somewhere the humor is forced but then you tend to overlook it for a bigger picture.
The story goes back in time and uses the headlines of 1999 to piece together a funny story, not a believable story. But then 99 does not aspire to be a realistic movie, atleast not that realistic. However the efforts to use the year 1999-2000 to tell a story by the writers is commendable even though they may have not made a perfect job of it.
The script and art direction tries to bring the feel of 1999 to the story and to a certain extent it does a good job.
Kunal Khemu plays Sachin one of the two crooks in the movie. He acts well and a has a good screen presence.
Cyrus Broacha who plays Zaramud, the second crook has always been known for his smart one-liners. Over the years he has grown from MTV VJ who spoke only English to a funny man who spoke some tootha footha Hindi. Here he is an overgrown fat funny man who offers some laugh. At some time he is just like his bakra gag. Enjoy it for a few moments.
Soha Ali Khan plays Pooja and is ok
Mahesh Manjarekar probably shot the movie while shooting for “Mee Shivaji Raaje Bhosale Boltoy” and his beard and acting is quite similar. Only here he uses tapori language. He plays AGM, a bookie and a Don in Mumbai. He never had problem playing a Don like character and it is good
Boman Irani as Rahul, the compulsive gambler as always does a good job.
A cameo by Vinod Khanna is ok
Simone Singh as Rahul’s wife is ok again.
Amit Mistry plays Kuber, a bookie in Delhi who moves around in a rickshaw for recovering money and with a tall bodyguard called Dimple. He is quite funny with the limited range from mobile. Watch him take three slaps from Kunal Khemu in quick succession and calling up his body guard name in changed tone everytime he is hit. Reminds me of Rishi Kapoor’s “Kya Baat hai” dialog from “Luck By Chance”
The director duo of Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK have relied on a good script for making a good movie.
99 is almost perfect. Its a good movie, a funny movie in parts and to a large extent smart movie. We could predict what could happen and it actually did but its was not like the mindless comedies that were the trend some time back, The first half could have been shorter but I guess the time taken by the story to establish the characters was felt ok by the writers and directors. Its fun watching the movie.
99 just felt short of a 100 to become all time classic but this is also good