Producer: Ramesh Taurani and Salma Khan
Director: Remo D’Souza
Starring: Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah
Music: JAM8, Meet Bros, Vishal Mishra, Vicky-Hardik and Shivai Vyas
Lyrics: Kumaar, Shabbir Ahmed, Hardik Acharya, Shloke Shanky, Shivai Vyas and Salman Khan
When ‘Race’ released in 2008, I was blew away by the kind of twists it delivered at short intervals. The film kept me at the edge of my seat and left me completely satisfied as a viewer by the time the end credits started rolling. While I admired Abbas-Mustan as directors, they had not delivered a thriller this good in a long time. It was one of their accomplished works for sure. The film had a unique style and structure which we had not seen in a Hindi thriller. I strongly believed this was a film that should be turned into a franchise. The second part in the franchise ‘Race 2’ released in 2013 and although it was not as good as the original, it was entertaining and left one hoping for a third part. Though the trailer and other promotional material of ‘Race 3’ received its share of brickbats, I was quite excited to watch the film. Having one of the biggest stars in the country should have given the makers the free to leave no stone unturned to give the film a grand scale. But, does the content matches up to the scale?
Shamsher Singh (Anil Kapoor) runs an illegal arms business in Al Shifah, a middle-eastern country. He and his family consisting of his step son Sikandar (Salman Khan), son Suraj (Saqib Saleem) and daughter Sanjana (Daisy Shah), have all the money in the world but Shamsher years to go back to Handiya, a small town in India he had fled from due to some unfavourable circumstances. Shamsher’s biggest enemy is Rana (Freddy Daruwala), a man who runs a drug cartel in Al Shifah. Sikandar’s closest friend is Yash who works for the family. Sikandar is shocked to see Yash claiming to be in love with Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez) whom Sikandar had met a couple of months back and had professed love to.
As director Remo D’Souza has admitted in an interview, he was brought on board just a month before they were about to start shooting for the film. That explains the way the film has turned out to be. Watching ‘Race 3’ was not just disappointing; it was heart-breaking because this shoddily made film will perhaps mark the end of this franchise which had so much potential to grow. Take the script of a bad Bollywood action film from the 90s, pepper it with some stylised action sequences and you get ‘Race 3’. The first half is unbearable with some of the tackiest dialogues you would have heard in a long time. The twist and turns appear to be forced and are cringe-worthy. The second half is only marginally better as some of the happenings, especially towards the climax, do catch you unaware. However, that is does not salvage a film that is an exercise in stupidity and tomfoolery. The fact that the film was shot hurriedly can be gauged by the fact that some of the dialogues (the audio and the visual) are off-sync. Plus, there is a barrage of tuneless songs (quite a surprise as the film has been produced by Tips which is known to put good music in their films) that are forced down your throat.
Salman Khan needs a director who knows how to extract a good performance out of him. He is quite in form when directed by a Kabir Khan or an Ali Abbas Zafar but Remo fails to wake him out of his sleepwalking mode. Anil Kapoor is in terrific form. Despite being saddled with some cheesy lines, he packs a punch with his performance. Bobby Deol looks fit and rejuvenated after a break but he needs a better written role to make an impression with. Saqib Saleem is a wonderful actor and has left a strong mark in all the smaller films he has done. Here, he just looks lost. Jacqueline Fernandez and Daisy Shah get a few action scenes to shine.
One of the reasons I had good expectations from the film as it has been written by Shiraz Ahmed who also wrote the first two films in the franchise. It is heart-breaking to see his writing being the main culprit in bringing the film down. It would be a little difficult to imagine a film as bad as this working at the box-office but if Salman Khan’s fans help it reach the ‘hit’ mark, I would suggest the makers to introspect and come up with a better script and hopefully, Saif Ali Khan for the next film in the franchise.