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Subhash K Jha derails The Train

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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Monday, June 11, 2007
Starring Emran Hashmi, Sayali Bhagat, Geeta Basra, Aseem Merchant Directed by Raksha Mistry&Hasnain Hyderabadwala

Tagline for this week's, ha ha, thriller. "Some Lines Should Never Be Crossed"... Hmmm, sounds familiar . Wasn't that the tagline for the 2005 cheesy Jennifer Aniston-Clive Owen thriller Derailed?

Co-directors Mistry and Hyderabadwala don't just rip off the fast-paced loco-motivated thriller about the price an adulterous man must pay for biting into the forbidden fruit. They turn it into a mushy-mushy rush-rush job where the film editor seems as much in a hurry as the commuters in the Thai subway that houses this thriller's non-existent thrills.

Trust me, Geeta Basra playing Jennifer Aniston's role is quite a forbidden apple. She pouts preens and poses as though Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction has suddenly gotten too close for comfort.

And Emraan Hashmi as Michael Douglas from Fatal Attraction is a fatal aberration. Hashmi's titillating transgressions are the stuff that Mahesh Bhatt's cinema is made of. And yet-here lies the deception-the very idea of placing Hashmi at the vortex of a lustful infidelity is not temptation enough to sit through this stilted rip-off of what was at best, a passably puerile thriller.

It's one thing for Shekhar Kapoor to sublimate Man Woman&Child by making it into the resplendently emotional Masoom.

Mistry and Hydrabadwala heat up the cold warmth of the Hollywood film into a mockery of all definitions of life, love marriage and lust in cinema. The Thai setting hardly helps to pump up the anemic adrenaline. It only heightens the queasy feeling of watching a bad Hollywood thriller vandalized by people who don't seem to have one original, let alone inspiring, bone in their creative body. In the absence of an inner conviction the narration moves at a scratch-level creating scenes from a broken marriage whose splinters pierce the plot with agonizing self-consciousness.

K.Raj Kumar wields the camera as though Bangkok was an overgrown shopping mall. The film wears an over-ripened decadent look suggesting forbidden pleasures that can be had for a price in any respectable massage pleasure. Yes, Mithoon's tunes are interesting in bits. Why not watch them at home?

If you really want to know why modern marriages are falling apart, don't look for answers in this unfaithful adaptation of a foreign film on unfaithfulness. Watch Anurag Basu's Metro instead. But if you really want to know what's wrong with Hollywood rip-off-ed Hindi films, go see The Train.

Amore bogus ride on celluloid would be difficult to obtain.

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