Crakk: Jeetega Toh Jiyegaa… tests viewer’s patience

Vidyut Jammwal does one of his interminable stunts in Crakk: Jeetega Toh Jiyegaa… Photo: Universal Communications

When you watch a Vidyut Jammwal actioner, you do expect crakk-erjack action. However, what you get in Crakk: Jeetega Toh Jiyegaa… is a film that will crakk the viewer up for the entirely wrong reasons. The plot may have some semblance of identification for the aspiring ‘extreme sports’ enthusiast, but what we get to see is a plot sans logic, which only wants to rely on what its makers perceive to be its ‘emotional quotient’, with everything else being thrown out of the window.

Siddharth (Vidyut Jammwal), from the slums of Mumbai, enrolls for the Poland-based “Maidaan” (Indian word for open ground, usually used for sports, believe it or nuts!), a sports venue where the victor’s prize is humongous but the stakes are high: you can die easily during the various rounds.

He reaches there by illegal means (he is from an economically lower-class family and does not have the moolah, see?) and is soon approached by the semi-Indian cop (Amy Jackson) to spy on the game’s organizer, Dev (Arjun Rampal) in return for freedom from action for having no passport. The concept of “Maidaan” belongs to Dev’s father, Mark (Bijay Anand). We next come to know two things: Siddharth’s elder brother, Nihal (Ankit Mohan) has died there as a contestant and that Alia (not Bhatt, but Nora Fatehi) has a soft corner for him. So does—platonically, of course—Junaida (Jamie Lever), who works there. Now Dev wants to know if—and if so, how—his brother dearest was murdered.

As the absurdities pile up, one huger than the other, we see how Dev is a poor loser in adversity, and is also smuggling a dangerous radioactive element, Plutonium (the suppliers are never shown) about which the Polish police (!) are suspicious but have no evidence. Dev’s father wants to keep the sport “clean” and is helplessly disapproving of this. But Dev wants power, see?

As the film proceeds, we see Dev and Siddharth in a crucial “win or die” race, and everyone in India (including Sid’s family and basti cronies) and even the local cops that had once arrested the brothers for dangerous activities are able to watch each and every move and step crystal-clear on their phones as the two men speed across hills, caves and everywhere else! In between, of course, there are a zillion more absurdities, not to speak of the extra-loud and jarring background score by Vikram Montrose.

And, there is, of course, a twist. Hardly one of consequence, though!

Vidyut Jammwal has shed his woodenness some films back and etches a reasonably good Siddharth. Arjun Rampal as Dev is a tepid villain, though. Amy Jackson is excruciating as the Polish cop, both in expressions and diction. The rest go through the motions, though Rajendra Shisatkar and Shalaka S. Pawar as Siddharth’s parents and Ankit Mohan as his brother are sincere in their limited roles. Nora Fatehi has nothing to do except shed clothes—her area of expertise. But Jamie Lever is remarkably dull.

Aditya Datt, the director, has had a (very) mixed track-record, his best being Table No. 21 and his most successful being Aashiq Banaya Aapne, both now seem many eons ago. But as the grandson of iconic lyricist Anand Bakshi, I would have at least expected the songs to be of good caliber. Sadly, even in that department, the film falters.

Vidyut Jammwal needs to focus on a story and script apart from just persona and action. Empty action, like empty vessels in the proverb, may make the most noise (for almost two and a half relentlessly tedious hours!) but never works in the movies. A film must Crakk the audience’s feelings, toh jeetegaa…!

Action Hero Films’ Crakk—Jeetega Toh Jiyegaa…  Produced by: Vidyut Jammwal & Abbas Sayyad  Directed by: Aditya Datt  Written by: Aditya Datt, Reham Khan, Sarim Momin & Mohinder Pratap Singh  Music: Mithoon, MC Square, Tanishk Bagchi, Vikram Montrose & Ali Zafar  Starring: Vidyut Jammwal, Arjun Rampalm Amy Jackson, Nora Fatehi, Rajendra Shisatkar, Shalaka S. Pawar, Ankit Mohan, Bijay Anand, Pooja Sawant, Rukmini Maitra, Michael Owusu, Jamie Lever & others






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