There are some films that are made to garner awards, some by superstars for their kids, some to revive flagging careers of actors.
And some, that are made purely so that the audience can forget the problems of the country, and laugh their asses off.
Welcome to Players, a heist waste film that takes a classic like The Italian Job, flips it over, and rapes it repeatedly. All in good, unintended humour, of course.
Not that I was expecting much from a cast that had Abhishek Bachhan, Bobby Deol and Sonam Kapoor. But about five minutes into the film, I knew this was a masterpiece. One that would stand the tests of time and logic.
So, let me introduce you to the Players, a bunch of nincompoops who parade around in designer wear and talk in Hinglish, “’cos it’s cool, yeah?”
Abhishek Bachhan: The leader of the pack. He wears shades, sports a stubble, and has that smug “Get Idea” expression on his face throughout the film. He claims to be a C.A., but if you look closely, there are 5 letters he forgot to mention in between. He creates a team of experts who can loot a train that is carrying gold from Russia to Romania. He is working under the guidance of Victor Dada, who has to be one of the most outstanding characters written in the annals of Hindi cinema.
Victor Dada: Played by Vinod Khanna, the man who gave us ‘Dayavan’ and Rahul Khanna. Victor Dada is in jail, and we’re told he was a master con-man in his days. At the jail, he advices the police on how to catch thieves. He also makes the prisoners sing ‘Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum’, a scene which would make V. Shantaram gouge his two eyes out with twelve hands. He is also a thope in solving criminal cases. In one of the early scenes, he deduces that a burglary was committed by a woman, because a vase was lifted off from its position and placed in a more aesthetically pleasing position. “Sirf ek aurat yeh kar sakti hai”, Victor Dada says. He’s also the mastermind of the robbery being attempted by the Players, because he wants to start the country’s largest orphanage.
Ronnie: Played by Bobby Deol, who has a scowl all through the film. We are told that he is an illusionist, and his tricks are needed for the robbery to succeed. He has to fool the soldiers in the train such that they cannot see a train in the adjacent track, from which the Players are stealing the gold. How does he do it? He records the scenes outside a train window, and then projects the image on all the windows of the train so that the soldiers believe that the train is moving.
“But if he has recorded from one window, all the windows must be seeing the same sight?” you ask.
“And even if something like this is conceivable, it would require the skills of a computer expert and not an illusionist,” you say.
Here, I might gently remind you that Bobby is the younger brother of Sunny Deol. Kindly keep your questions in your mind. You know what happened to Pakistan when they asked questions to Sunny Deol.
Naina: Played by Sonam Kapoor. Undoubtedly the best performance in the film, Naina, we are told has just completed a Masters course in Computers, and written a thesis in Ethical Hacking. So awesome is she, that while in Sydney, she hacks Abhishek’s Bachhan’s Macintosh (Yes, fuck Steve Jobs and the most secure OS in the world). Abhishek Bachhan is watching a video of Aftab Shivdasani and tells her “Naina, I’m NOT watching porn.” I don’t want to get into debates about ‘objectionable content’ here.
So anyway, Naina dresses up in weird clothes and has a penchant for showing her middle finger to strangers on the road. While she lets her father die because she comes to know of Victor Dada’s plans to rob the train, she later on joins the Players to avenge the death of her father.
Bilal: played by Sikander Kher, is a bomb-expert. “Ise videsi gaadiyan aur desi bomb pasand hai. Yeh ek kaan se sun nahi sakta, lekin yeh 32 foreign bhashaon mein baat kar sakta hai,” says Victor Dada in his introduction. To drill in the essence of the statement, we are shown a flashback, where a young Sikander blows off a lock with a huge, green ‘Hydrogen’ bomb, and comes out with a yellow toy car. When his friends call out to him, he just walks past. A brilliant shot establishing that he likes desi bombs, foreign cars, and has gone deaf deaf.
Spyder: Played by Neil Nitin Mukesh, Spyder is the world’s greatest hacker. How they arrived at the rankings, heaven alone knows. But since he is a geek, he absolutely has to wear large, black glasses. Otherwise, how do we know he is a geek, no? So awesome is Spyder, that it takes Naina a few hours, and typing a few keys on her laptop, to find him. When he senses someone near his door, he dresses up in a pizza delivery boy costume and flees.
Abhishek Bachhan, who has been chasing people since Dhoom (2004) sees through the costume, and in a symbolic scene, catches him in a fishing ‘net’. ‘Spyder’ also speaks with a weird accent and says things like “Dress me up, baybay”, and “Open the web, baybay.”
Riya: played by Bipasha Basu. Her expertise is that ‘Duniya mein aisa koi mard nahi hai jo iski adaon se bach paye’. Yes, Baba Ramdev included.
Bipasha seduces a Russian Army General in a pub by singing a Hindi song. She also forces him to strip for her, while singing ‘Mera Joota Hai Japaani’. Apart from these talents, Riya is also good at other stuff that robbers do, like repairing run down trains into superfast bullet trains. How she does that? Simple. She installs two huge ‘nitro boosters’ on top of the trains that give out fire, and hence the train now becomes superfast. Her lines in the film are very original and honest: “Main speed badha rahi hoon”, and “Jaldi karo, humare paas zyada waqt nahi hai.”
There, I have given you a brief introduction to the characters, so even if you miss the first fifteen minutes, you can still watch the film.
I have not revealed the exact sequence of events, so that the fun is not killed.
Very rarely do films like ‘Players’ arrive on our screens.
Don’t miss it!