Movie Review - Rajdhani Express
Critic's Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars
Cast: Leander Paes, Jimmy Shergill, Gulshan Grover, Puja Bose, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sudhanshu Pandey, Sayali Bhagat
Direction: Ashok Kohli
Duration: 2 hours 6 minutes
Story: In an attempt to make a fresh start in life, a man boards Rajdhani Express to run away from his god-father. Will he be able to get rid of his old self?
Movie Review: Keshav (Leander Paes) is the man on the run. He boards the Mumbai bound Rajdhani Express with a bag and a gun. He shares the train compartment with Bengali script-writer PC Bannerjee (Priyanshu Chatterjee), Bollywood item girl Sunita ( Puja Bose) and Bollywood fashion designer Munish ( Sudhanshu Pandey). Full of suppressed anger, unwilling to disclose anything about himself and doing nothing except for holding onto his bag firmly...Keshav's co-passengers find his behaviour suspicious. They doubt his background and intentions.
Is Keshav the man to be feared or does he need to fear the crooked world?
Rajdhani Express has a thought-provoking premise but the execution fails miserably. The film aspires to raise grave questions about the current scenario of our society at large and immoral tendencies of people but all of that gets overshadowed by poor editing, over-the-top performances, pointless scenes and illogical dialogues. It makes the film seem more of an unintentional comedy than a socio-political thriller.
The film is nonlinear. It has several flashbacks that give us a glimpse of Keshav's past. These scenes look funny because of their sheer absurdness. Sayali Bhagat plays Keshav's love interest. Her scenes are so random that you wonder if they were added after the film was completed!
The film has a fine actor like Jimmy Shergill too but surprisingly, he is completely wasted. He only makes an entry just before the interval. His character is not well-defined, making you wonder if he is meant to be a hero or an anti-hero!
The highlight of the film is the debut of Tennis ace Leander Paes. He tries his best to fit into the role he gets to portray but given his image and body language it doesn't work for him. Actor Amitosh Nagpal has dubbed for Paes as Hindi is not his forte. It makes the sportsman look all the more unconvincing and comical in certain scenes.
The film does speed up and changes track for the better towards the end, but the thrill comes too late. That pace was needed throughout the film. Gulshan Grover as Rajdhani's shudh Hindi-speaking ticket collector and Priyanshu Chatterjee are the only actors who manage to keep you engaged on this otherwise derailed express.