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Movie Review: Kaante

February 2003
Movie Review: Kaante


Sanjay Gupta

Music Director:

Anand Raaj Anand

This Rs 40-crore Los Angeles-based heist drama, owing its very existence to Tarantino?s cult classic Reservoir Dogs, finally saw the light of day after overcoming several thorns in its road to release. Undoubtedly, Kaante is technically as polished as any Hollywood movie ? it was shot entirely in the US by top-notch Hollywood technicians ? and director Sanjay Gupta deserves to be applauded for having the guts to be different because Kaante may not be liked beyond the big cities. The film could very well not appeal to small-town and rural audiences for the simple reason that it is too sophisticated and stylish in its treatment, unlike anything seen before on the Bollywood screen. There are low lights, low sound and smudged images aplenty, inspired by Hollywood of course. Gupta also goes one step ahead and adds a sepia yellow tinge to the entire proceedings which reportedly some in the audience are finding irksome.

There?s something else the squeamish among the audience will not approve of: the bawdy one liners with potential to make the ears of even the most abusive of the lot, go red. What was the oh-so-righteous Censor Board doing? The all-male film has virtually no romantic track, so in a sense it?s a very aggressive, macho movie.

Pivoting around an ill-planned bank robbery doomed from the start, its big goons ? Major (Amitabh), Ajju (Dutt), Mac (Gaurav), Marc (Shetty), Balli (Manjrekar) and Mac (Lucky) ? strangers all, end up on the wrong side of the law all the time. The cops don?t like them, every time there?s a crime committed, they are locked up. The six meet for the first time in an LA cell, locked for routine interrogation, and plan to get even. They decide to rob the Services Bank, bankers for LAPD.

The fatal flaw in Kaante lies in the script by Sanjay Gupta. The director particularly falters in the first half. He takes far too long to establish his characters testing the patience of his audience. This could certainly have been avoided by crisp editing, which is otherwise very slick. And ironically, Kaante touted as an all-out action flick, actually has just two true-blue action scenes. The first is the great escape the six make after the heist and the second a showdown between Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty, which is somewhat forced in the narrative.

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