Neons,Red neons, Yellow Milestones, Pune Railway Station,Lancers, maroon Maruti 800, Bombay-Pune Highway,more Neons and UV Lights in da Club, no Bling Bling, only CASH and Bam Bam. Phew!! What a ride!!Johnny Gaddar is ..wait for it…the Best Hindi movie of its genre. Should I say that again or was I loud enough to make my point clear? ADLABS presents, …Sriram Raghavan’s…and then Boom. The title credits are absolutely a thing to watch and watch out for. Awesome is the Word..or is it Legendary. Ok, I should come out of the Barney-shell and just tell you more about the movie and why I loved it.
Reason 1: Solely for the title credits which is a huge tribute in its own right to all the 60’s and 70’s thrillers, especially ( and well clearly mentioned too) to Vijay Anand’s works from Johnny Mera Naam( from which the movie’s title has been taken) to Jewel Thief . I definitely felt that Mr.Raghavan always wanted to pay a kind of homage to them, and what rightfully done!!
In scenes like, Rimi Sen reading R.K.Narayan’s ‘Guide'( made into a film by Vijay Anand) or well, Vikram, the protagonist who is a big Big-B fan, watches Parwana (may be for his influences eh!) to Johnny Mera Naam. Well,there are other trivial stuff too which would soon make their way on the trivia list of IMDb like, while Shiva is being called the first time, he is watching Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. The movie also brings back the genre of “Kaun-Kaise-Kaha-Kyun” in a very crisply done script just like taken from the pages of ” James Hadley Chase”.
Reason 2: This is not a Who-Dun-it? It is more of how did he-when did he-kinda flick, and it continously kept me( and also all the people at the theatre) at the edge of my seat and made me wonder, about what next?It made me think and think, and hold on to the chair tight, made me wanna kick the guy sitting in front of me talking over the phone, cause I was sensing the air of suspense and was totaly gripped by the claws of this reel-o-magic.
Reason 3: The entire cast,from the mastermind of the “plan-A” Seshadri (Dharmendra) to Prakash a.k.a Pakya(Vinay Pathak) to the very briefly kept Twinkle a.k.a Mrs.Shardul (Rimi Sen),everyone has been able to pull off exactly what the film expected them to. Debutante Neil Mukesh as Vikram a.k.a Johnny G is a discovery. He is not just plain wood as the other six-packs,sculpted physique league of bloody ordinary gentlemen are, but makes his presence felt throughout and has been absolutely successful in making the character of Johnny Gaddar come to life. Johnny isnt a strong guy, he is a smart guy. He has his weaknesses and he is scared of the bigger and stronger Cons. But his smartness,his luck and his perfect timing makes his Plan-B work. And Neil makes us believe that he IS Johnny while he deceives and betrays everyone. Last but not the Least, Zakir Hussain as Shardul is absolutely brilliant and Ashwini Kalsekar as Mrs.Pakya a.k.a Beauty Parlor is the icing on the Cake. Go watch the movie to find out why.
Reason 4: The movie includes PUNE. Yippeee. From Pune Station to MG Road, to glimpses of Magnum Mall and Bombay Garage(was it?) . Woo hoo. I loved it.
Reason 5: all of the ABOVE and even more. Johnny G offered me a slice of Tarantino even in vernacular. Especially the scene when Shardul is being hit and falls down back-first on his glass center table. Kill Bill revisted. Woohoo. What I liked most about the movie besides the Title Credits, is the pace at which the movie carried on. There are no extras or fillers or any element of Priyadarshan or RGV ki Aag. I have watched Mr.Raghavan’s previous flick “Ek Hasina Thi” and I thought it was a good movie. Johnny G just surpasses all the expectations I had. It is a brilliantly made movie in all aspects, from the sets to the script to the action chodeography to the fast paced editing to the jaw-dropping fast cinematography which captures the closed Train Toilets to the dim-lit compartments as brilliantly as the crowded dance floor of Club Escape or the intense nightmare mood of Vikram’s apartment.Shankar-Ehsan-Loy’s score is set to set the mood of the movie and it does it well. Just well enough. But it is a bit too loud at times, or perhaps I am too claustrophobic for closed club Sounds.
Complaints: Only complaints are that it is a rated-A movie. So well, besides the Bam-Bam and the Dhishum Dhishum, I wanted some Muah-Muah too. Not that the movie did not have any scope for it. Rimi and Neil could have had a moment . Friggin!!!!! Just when you thought that it was flawless, my hormones popped-out. LOL.
Need I say more. A word more spoken and I would start sounding like I have been paid for the publicity of this movie. Go watch it and you will and shall LOVE it.
3.5 out of 5.