Back to a single-screen to watch this one. Caught this at Rex Theatre on Brigade Road, Banglore. Relived my many movie-watching sessions during my college days. Thanks to the ongoing producer-multiplex standoff, movies are far and few.

Absolute pleasure watching this to break the movie-fast !  99, directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, the movie is an entertaining crime caper. Reminded me of Guy Ritchie at his best. Those of you who have watched Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and are fans of the movies will know what I mean. I do not wish to take credit away from the makers of 99, but find it easy to describe the style of the movie using the Guy Ritchie reference.

The movie stars Sachin (Kunal Khemu) and Zaramoud (Cyrus Broacha) as  small time con men who get caught in the big game when they steal and wreck a local underworld Don AGM's (Mahesh Manjrekar) car. Forced to work for him, the muscular Sachin and the overweight Zaramoud are sent to collect money from Rahul Vidyarthi(Boman Irani), a compulsive gambler who loses INR 2 million in a bet on a cricket match. The money collection drive in Delhi starts to go haywire from the moment they check-in to a 5 star hotel and meet Pooja (Soha Ali Khan). A series of coincidences and incidents occur and a few more characters enter the tale. There is the cricket bettor and fixer JC (Vinod Khanna), the Delhi bookie Kuber (Amit Mistry), Rahul's estranged wife Jhanavi (Simone Singh) and a few other interesting characters like Kuber's strongman 'Dimple'.  

Set in 1999, with an underlying theme of Cricket the title of the movie signifies that it takes 1 run to make a century and be counted. The theme of cricket and many other references are authentic to the year 1999, including a  conference on Y2K (the year 2000 computer glitch that was the talk of the industry in 1999), match fixing, the coffe shop phenomenon etc. The writers have done a brilliant job of mixing actual news items of the time into their story and as the tag line of the movie says-"Part Fact. Part fiction. Pure Fun", the movie is indeed entertaining especially for a Sunday morning.

The casting is excellent. The screenplay is patchy and could have been far slicker, so could the editing, scene shifts etc. Cyrus is uncharacteristically restrained but puts in a  hilarious performance as the fat man. Khunal Khemu is at ease on screen and very comfortable in his role. the dialogues appear patchy at times and could have done with some better sound editing and mixing. Soha Ali Khan does not have much to do. Boman Irnai too does not have much of role in terms of variety but his presence is reassuring. Mahesh Manjrekar puts in a performance which is not new to him.  This movie and its style augers well for Hindi Cinema. The story format, characters and the linear plot but with cuts to smaller stories and characters coming full circle really plays out well. The background scroe is pretty average but does not harm the movie. An entertaining movie, with some outstanding hilarious moments, 99 is above average fare from the debutant film-makers.

Is it worth watching ? Definitely. 


Roshmi Sinha May 17, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Welcome back!!!

Good to see you blogging after an unnaturally (cough, cough) long... self-imposed hibernation... !!!

Ved May 19, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

Thanks. will try and keep it more regularly now

Bhargav Saikia May 23, 2009 at 4:25 PM  

Nice review! I enjoyed 99 thoroughly too!

Here's my review:

Ved May 30, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

Thanks. Your view is nice too. Actually thought Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye is more of catch me if you can, but then each to his view.

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