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4084  : Wrong number, please
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Friday, January 13, 2012
Hriday Shetty
Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kishan, Zakir Hussain
4084 Movie Stills
The escapades of a foursome, spread across one night, as it sets out to steal `20 crore without even a Plan A in place.
The plot: Four small-timers come together from their gritty little jobs, to hike their status in life. Pankaj Suri (Naseeruddin Shah), English professor turned driver after a stint in jail, leads the way to a big-time job. The gang he puts together: Bobby (Atul Kulkarni), a wannabe singer turned “manager” for hookers; Shakti (Ravi Kishen), a drug dealer; and Albert Pinto (Kay Kay Menon), a car thief.In a lonely house on the outskirts of Mumbai, an illegal trade of counterfeit notes goes on unchecked. The four decide to disguise themselves as Mumbai Police and stage a raid on the house. But stealing a police van is no cakewalk as they get distracted and drunk in turns and get drawn to nocturnal situations where there’s little to sift the genuine uniformed ones from the fake ones. The crooks guarding the suitcases of real currency notes are also disguised as cops – from Haryana.

The good: Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and even Ravi Kishen are first-rate performers. Despite their frail characters and a fragile script, they manage to grip one’s attention most of the way.Some of the dialogues (Vinay and Yash) might get some laughs as they are rustic and could appeal to the single screen audience. The dialogues go well with the lead characters and help to keep the movie light and peppy even in the most hostile of situations like an encounter with a deadly don.
The bad: Poorly written (Vinay and Yash again), what promised to be a joyride with some wonderful actors in police van number 4084, ends up as one mirthless ride. It keeps going back and forth, dissolving into flashbacks and chugging ahead again and again. The plot wasn’t run-of-the-mill and could have turned into engaging, witty cinema with a distinct Bambaiya flavour. However, the facile treatment, twists and turns that plod on and unnecessary distractions that don’t add to the humour quotient, turn a potentially intriguing beginning into an unintelligent drag. If smart comedy is to be measured by what’s-going-on chaos, then this one has plenty of it.The direction by Hriday Shetty is frivolous and, like the lack of a Plan in the film, there seems to be no thought-out Plotting of Screenplay either. There are dozens of loopholes and a bewildering number of characters. There are four main characters who get together with no clue to how they ever met and set out on such a mission of togetherness. And they’re out to loot suitcases of currency on the assumption that there are only two keepers they’d have to overcome. Too much to keep swallowing.The cliché item numbers with semi-clad women are also unfortunately added with titillating numbers (Lalit Pandit) that fail to keep out the grittiness.

The finale where the fake Mumbai police, the fake Haryana police, the genuine Mumbai cops and a gangster are all fighting one another is more annoying than a merry muddle.Overall: What a terrible waste of awesome acting talents and a promising plot!

~ Pooja Thakkar

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