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Subhash K Jha's take on <i>Naksha</i>

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    Cast: Sunny Deol, Viveik Oberoi, Sameera Reddy, Jackie Shroff
    Director: Sachin Bajaj

    Upside: The eye-catching outdoor locations are used to inviting effect by cinematographer Vijay Arora who spans through the panoramic locales with fruity relish.

    Too numbed to react to the film's self conscious paciness, you still applaud the debutant director for his enterprising spirit.

    Flipside: But the characters are as over-the-top and uni-dimensional as electronic toys in a posh departmental store where the best items have been swept away at a summer bonanza sale.

    Forget the ecological desecration. The absolute lack of good taste in intermittent bouts of massy pleasuring stymies the flow of adventure...e.g the pigmy tribals making merry havoc with the adventurous trio of protagonists, or the villain's moll who stands speechlessly in semi-naked splendour only to burst into a song about nashaa nashaa...or was it naksha naksha?

    And the humour is often of the most dreadful variety. There's a particularly obnoxious queer-funny sequence where handcuffed chote-bhai Oberoi wants his brother Sunny Deol to help him pee in the wilderness.

    The screenplay (Milap Zaveri/Tushar Hiranandani) apportions witticisms like plastic fruits on real trees. Boy's day ouch?????

    Jha's judgment: When was the last time you saw a children's adventure story told with loads of sporty chutzpah? This isn't quite the ultimate adventure story that Spielberg would have made. But Naksha has an interesting look and feel too it. The feeling however isn't even skin-deep. It's just ..... stilted and shallow. 

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