On face value HATTRICK sounded like a winner with UTV producing the movie, Milan Luthria reuniting with Nana Patekar after TAXI NO.9211, a novel story and some well publicised promos. Sadly the movie doesn’t live up to expectations due to a half-hearted screenplay and some flat direction.
The movie revolves around Dr. Satyajeet Chavan (Nana Patekar) an ardent work-a-holic who is detached from the simple pleasures in life and hates everything around him. In to his care comes David Abraham (Danny Denzgopa) who is full of life and zest. A veteran cricketer who is obsessed with cricket. On the other side of the world in London is Hemu Patel (Paresh Rawal). Hemu is a janitor by day but to keep his prestige he has told everyone around him that he’s an immigration officer. An illegal immigrant Hemu is obsessed with cricket and he longs to return home from U.K. after years of fooling himself that he’s happy living a second-rate life in a foreign land. Lastly there is Saby(Kunal Kapoor) who is an absolute cricket fanatic and is completely obsessed with it. He marries his childhood sweetheart Kashmira (Rimmi Sen) who absolutely detests cricket however things start to spiral out of control when Kashmira takes extra interest in Dhoni which makes Saby very jealous.
Rajat Aroras story sound interesting on paper, however sadly this doesn’t translate onscreen. With the multiplexes coming of age, we’ve witnessed a number of films with multiple parallel stories running simultaneously inside one film from YUVA, YUN HOTA TOH KYA HOTA, SALAAM-E-ISHQ to the recent HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT LTD. Aroras screenplay treads a similar path yet the end result is less than satisfying. For a film of this nature to truly work, ALL the multiple tracks in the story have to be reasonably strong and more importantly, tie in together nicely in the end. Even if 1 of the tracks fails to evoke interest the movie can usually fall flat on its face. And HATTRICK sadly faces the same problem. The Nana Patekar-Danny Denzgopa angle is the best of the lot due to some spirited performances by the leading duo. The track starts out well but eventuates into nothing which leaves the viewer with a “is that all”? feeling. The Paresh Rawal track too starts out superlative but loses momentum and even purpose somewhere along the way. To make matters worse Rawals character ends up coming across as a whiner rather than evoking public sympathy. The Kunal Kapoor-Rimmi Sen is the weakest of the lot. The entire episode comes across as rather pointless and feels completely out of place. Aroras dialogues on the other hand are superb.
As a director Milan Luthria has no doubt been impressive so far though not always successful. KACHCHE DHAAGE was a fantastic debut, though his next release CHORI CHORI didn’t do as well despite being well made. His ambitious DEEWARR-LETS BRING OUR HEROES HOME too failed despite coming with a lot of hype, however Luthria proved his worth with last years quirky and witty comedy/drama TAXI NO.9211. With HATTRICK his intention was clearly to go down the same lane and offer the viewers with a mix of comedy and drama though this time round he fails. Luthria hasn’t been able to handle the episodic nature of the story well at all, and in effect the stories don’t hold well together at all (though the uninspired screenplay doesn’t help). To make matters worse, the whole “cricket” flavor of the movie seems ill timed and the passion that may have gone into making the movie at that time with the World Cup around the corner doesn’t help the movie much now. To top it all off the climax of the movie is completely thankless and uninspired and ends up boring the viewer to no end. The entire “fake match” is tedious and bores. Mr Luthria…I know you’ve got a lot of talent in you, so better luck next time!
The performances in the movie are a saving grace to an extent.
Is Nana Patekar capable of giving a bad performance? Even in the worst movies Nana Patekar manages to rise above the script to deliver a performance that is at least worthy, and more importantly always watchable. In HATTRICK his character is a repeat of his act from TAXI NO.9211 though minus the comic touch. Many of the personality traits in both Raghav Shastri and Satyajeet Chavan are identical but Nana has given the characters a slightly new turn keeping in mind the difference in professions. Frankly, this is the kind of role that Nana can play with his eyes closed. It’s not a bad performance by any stretch of the imagination, and I would go as far as to say it’s a pretty good one, but it’s not one that does any justice to Nanas talent.
Danny Denzgopa after a hiatus is impressive and I must say I’ve missed him! He plays his rather likeable and energetic character with zest and passion which translates well on-screen. The actor is looking absolutely magnificent and evidently he’s taken extremely good care of himself. One hopes to see more of Danny in the future.
Paresh Rawal plays a part that has by now become a cliché of sorts for him, and I would actually prefer to see him in a Priyan comedy film doing a Baburao Apte take-off rather than him playing a “N.R.I Gujji guy” again. Paresh no doubt gives the role all that he’s got and he manages to hit some right chords in a serious part which is a departure from his comic routine, but the character has been poorly written which in turn doesn’t help Paresh much.
Kunal Kapoor is just good. I liked him in MEENAXI and found him effective in RANG DE BASANTI. Here the actor shows that he has immense screen presence and charm. He plays his part off well and performs with confidence. His comic timing is spot on too, though the one thing he does need to watch is his voice modulation as he does come across very wooden and monotone at times. Hate to see him become the next Arjun Rampal!
Rimmi Sen is well..Rimmi Sen! She looks gorgeous and surprisingly portrays her part with conviction.
Pratiksha Lonkar is OK in her part as Nanas wife.
The songs have been well picturised, but sadly they aren’t catchy enough for the audiences to remember once the movie is over apart from the spirited WICKET BACHCHAO! Surprising not to find a chartbuster here from Pritam.
Technically the movie is OK. Nirmal Janis camerawork is good though nothing spectacular. Aarif Shahikhs editing too could’ve been tighter.
All up HATTRICK is yet another disappointment for the year 2007. The movie promised a lot but in the final run doesn’t deliver.