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Cash fails to win the hearts of cine-goers

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By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Reactions after first screening of Cash:

'Style hai par soul nahin' [There is style in the film but no soul]
'Action achcha hai par story kahan hai' [There is good action in the film but no story] 'Gaane badiya hai lekin usse sirf kaam to nahi chalta' [Songs are good but that is not good enough]
'Actors were looking good but they hardly had dialogues to speak'

And by the way, this one takes the cake:

"Animation was a unique experience but guess what, it seemed like it was filled in to compensate for action sequences which the director couldn't shoot."

Hmm, wonderful, I thought! Style hai, action hai, gaane hai, good looking actors hai, animation top-class hai, par film achchi nahi hai! Errr, I am a little confused now! What were we expecting anyways from Cash? A 'Schindler's List'? Or was it 'A Beautiful Mind'? Closer home, was this 'chor-police' story meant to be an 'Ardh Satya' in the making?

No. So what is this hullabaloo all about? And mind you, all the noise was being heard more from within the media than outside it. Even before the Friday came to a close, the media seemed to know all about which way the film is turning. Well, isn't it a too early to say that? Why not wait for the collections of the film to be revealed? Chalo ok, let's leave the economics/commerce part aside! Let's get back talking about the film.

What does one look forward to most in an action entertainer? Good visuals, nice locations, breathtaking stunts, loads of beauties and last but not the least pulsating music. Didn't Cash have all of that? Moreover did the makers of the film, most notably director Anubhav Sinha, ever proclaim that his film was anything more than being a sheer time pass entertainer. Heck, even the film's promotional material read - "The biggest action film ever".

Thank goodness, everyone hailed the action sequences. Else, we would have come back saying: "Poster ki quality to achchi thi lekin caption justified nahi tha.'

Let's not even get into comparison mode here. It would be unjustified for any of the films if we bring films like Cash or a 'Dhoom 2' to the drawing board and start jotting down points comparing the action/stunts of each of the three films. But let's not forget the point that even Yash Raj Films [with all due respect to the film makers, they did a great job with 'packaging' the film well] always maintained that 'Dhoom 2' was a 'look based' film.

With look, they meant everything from costumes to style to visuals to locations to cinematography and everything else that goes into the 'package'. When we didn't raise an eyebrow for 'Dhoom 2' and accepted dozen odd loopholes in the screenplay (no issues there, it's all fair in a film belonging to this genre), why have a step-brotherly treatment towards Cash? Is Cash in the same mould as 'Dhoom 2'? No one claimed so all this while. So why are we trying to bring on the comparisons and try to ruin a film's prospects? Why not let the audiences decide that for themselves?

Lekin nahin! I have a job to do and the goodness or the badness of my job may well be influenced by how the person sitting next to me reacts. And mind you, this person could be a critic or film personality or a common man on the street. But the way it works is that if there are two people out there (probably the best in the business) proclaiming the film to be BAD, how could my poor soul state just the opposite?

Leave aside singing praises about the film, I may shudder to even think of raising a single positive about the film. Aakhir mujhe bhi apni reputation maintain karni hai yaar, warna log kya kahenge ki mujhe aisi film pasand aayi? 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' suffered the same fate, one hopes Cash doesn't!

Remember what happened with KANK? I have a classic example to state here. There was this up market colleague of mine who was traditionally fond of watching anything and everything that had Bollywood written over it. But suddenly on the Monday after the release of KANK, she joined a conversation of 10 odd yuppie kinds in cafeteria who didn't have a single kind word to say about the film.

Guess what, she joined the fray and passed an anecdote that she could hardly identify with the infidelity theme. 'What is she smoking', I thought, because a) It was strange to see her saying anything anti-Bollywood and b) Though it may be a little irrelevant but then she was not even married!

Later I did pull her in a corner and asked her what made her say so. Well, with all due respect to my promise of 'I will keep this off the record', she did confess that she had liked the film immensely but couldn't muster courage to defend it. Why? Because that would have made her a laughing stock amongst the people who had nothing but criticism for the Karan Johar film. And by the way, God only knows how many of those 10 intellectual yuppies had actually even seen the film!

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