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Rajdhani Express  : Game Over For Leander Paes
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Friday, January 4, 2013
Social drama
Ashok Kohli
Leander Paes, Jimmy Sheirgill, Gulshan Grover, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sayali Bhagat, Shilpa Shukla
It’s a thriller on the slow track and Paes’ debut attempt at acting derails even before it is flagged off.

The plot: Is it the story of a frustrated common man who has been kicked around all his life? Or is it the ruthlessly ambitious super cop vs a conscienceless home minister that’s the main track here? Or is it all just a rap on the knuckles of the media? Figure it out if you can on this trip to nowhere.

The good: The presence of substantial actors like Jimmy Sheirgill (as Deputy Commissioner Yadav from the ATS), his assistant Mukesh Rishi and Gulshan Grover (as Satyam Sharma, the head ticket collector) gives it a polish it doesn’t really deserve. Priyanshu Chatterjee at least attempts to be amusing in his caricature of a Bengali writer.

The bad: Ashok Kohli takes the credit for story, screenplay, dialogue and direction. Maybe he should be its sole audience too, as the flashback within flashback to establish the back story of lead player Keshav (Leander Paes) and the refusal to move on a fast track like a thriller should, make it a dull 2 hr 11 min journey. Zombie Leander has neither the personality nor the prowess to carry off a hero’s role.   

Overall: If you want thrills, go watch one of Paes’ old tennis matches.

– Bharathi S Pradhan

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