Movie Reviews

Maximum review

Mooch is the secret of my energy: Sonu Sood in Maximum

Cast: Sonu Sood, Naseeruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia, Vinay Pathak, Amit Sadh

Directed by Kabeer Kaushik

Rating: Minus five

Contrary to popular belief, this film isn’t about a nighty-clad mother (maxi-mum). It is about Aamchi Mumbai- the maximum city. But director Kabeer Kaushik’s film takes minimum interest in Suketu Mehta’s interpretation of the city and if anything, only curdles it into a milkshake of clichés. So Mumbai isn’t about the ‘Mum-bhais’ anymore. It’s about trigger-happy encounter cops, dance bars which can’t be distinguished from item song shoots and a lot of people lying mum in a pool of their own blood; pretty much like the theatre screening this film.

Pratap Pandit (Sonu Sood) is an encounter cop of few words and many bullets. A family man by every right, he is sorely disappointed when his wife- Supriya (Neha Dhupia) succumbs to a bullet later in the film. That said, unlike every self-respecting family man, he is a regular at dance bars and has his way with item girls who want police protection. So he’s a good cop, full-time fop and a mediocre pop. Anyway, his popularity leads to professional jealousy among ATS (Anti-terrorist Squad) cop Arun Inamdar (Naseeruddin Shah), his boss and chelas. This is soon followed by some confusion about how the Crime branch is trying to hog all the limelight from the ATS and how the two departments do pretty much the same thing (and they don’t mean making merry with public funds). But the commissioner wants them to go on doing what they do best, so Inamdar and Pandit go on a shooting spree, killing gangsters, informers, random people, extras on the set, some assistant directors, the script-writer (oh no! he escaped since he never showed up).

Pratap’s boss gives him one life-altering tip that can help anyone and no one, depending on how much alcohol has entered the body. “You have potential, so think big. Game khelna hai toh bada game khelo! Maximum power chahiye toh…” This dialogue can be completed by anyone who was awake when it was uttered.

Naseeruddin Shah in Maximum

There are two other characters who float around but don’t really make an impact- in the film or in your mind. They are: minister Tiwari (Vinay Pathak) and crime news reporter Ashwin Singh (Amit Sadh). They’re both Pandit’s friends for different reasons and are generally seen with him in almost every scene when he isn’t playing a terminator.

The film leads up to a complicated mess and Pandit is on the verge of being suspended for something that you can’t be bothered to understand or care for. Quick flashes of the 26-11 terrorist attacks also sweep through the screen and if they make any political changes within the police department, it’s not worth tearing your maxi for. Ok, last maxi reference, this.
If Sonu Sood is the last action hero, your last brain cell that survives this film should be in the next season of ‘Bigg Boss’ for its ability to endure just about anything. Why one of the finest actors of the Hindi film industry agreed to share space with this motley crew to put up a show worth forgetting, is something only Naseeruddin Shah knows. But you know what, it could've been worse. Amit Sadh seems unobjectionable but if this film can launch anything, it would be the audience who would propel out of the screen even before the interval bell. Vinay Pathak is his usual annoyingly cheerful self and playing a minister only means he does what he does in every other film, only dressed in a half-sleeved khadi here.
Hazel Keech can kill you softly with her Telegu words

Although the music doesn’t deserve a mention, one notable common thing about the big item number in this film (Aa ante amalapuram) and something Neha Dhupia casually hums is that they’re both incomprehensible. And despite Hazel Keech’s minimal clothing, the item number fails to impress since it’s distracting when you can’t understand the words. So if you really want to make Hazel Keech talk to you, here’s what the words of the song mean. And Amalapuram doesn’t refer to an entire mango.

Maximum offers indiscriminate firing, some minimum wage foreign locations (Thailand is one terrace overlooking skyscrapers) and a death duel featuring cop Vs cop Vs your better sense. Spoiler alert: your better sense doesn’t make it.

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