As the film begins, you expect it to be a story that’s an offshoot of a movie that talks about the murky underworld and politics. But as the story progresses, it turns out to be a gritty tale of two encounter specialists, each striving to be at the top of the game.
Naseeruddin Shah plays a senior police official who’s highly envious of the fact that Sonu Sood, who’s a fledgling but talented cop, is growing at an extremely fast pace. Maximum revolves around the conflicts of interest between the two. The fact that an establishment that’s set up to protect the public is itself entangled in trivial issues like politics and egotism is emphasised over and over again. The movie also talks about the perils of being an encounter specialist, and how people who undertake this job have to be always prepared for impending danger.
After watching the movie for a while, it strikes all of a sudden that this one stars a host of underrated actors who effortlessly dazzle with strong performances. Now that we’ve witnessed Sonu Sood’s decent thespian skills, we wonder why he’s only offered roles that don’t highlight his potential to the fullest. Neha Dhupia is not a bad actor, but somehow fails to fit into the garb of the quintessential Indian housewife. Amit Sadh, a small time TV actor, is back to acting after a long hiatus; and honestly, we were quite glad to see a fresh face diligently playing the role of a hard-working journalist. There’s a scene in which Sadh is seen running at great speed only so that he can board one of the stinky and crowded compartments of the local train. That scene captured the spirit of Mumbai perfectly and as a light-hearted tune was chosen as the background score, we were amazed the contrasts created by the director- of that of the plight of a working man combined with a happy melodious tune.
Naseer saab is always intense and there’s no denying that every time he opens his mouth, he leaves you awestruck. Vinay Pathak’s actions herald an unexpected twist in the end. Pathak does a great job of stepping into the shoes of a shrewd politician who uses sweetly saccharine words to conceal his self-seeking attitude.
Although the concept is impressive, it’s definitely not one of those films that will keep you hooked from start to end. One moment you have to concentrate really hard to figure out what’s happening and the very next second you have your eyes set on the screen with great interest. The inconsistency is what makes the film lose brownie points. But the actors do manage to mesmerise you – kudos to them for infusing a much-needed edge to this not-very-great story.
Rating: ** 1/2
* Poor – Avoid!
** Average – Give it a shot if you are desperate!
*** Good – One time watch!
**** Very good – Must watch!
***** Excellent – Don’t miss!