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"Musafir"

JUST BECAUSE you make a film slick and give it a very Hollywood look, there is no guarantee that it is good. And just because you make a product good looking enough to amaze, by the vision and technique possible in this country, it does not impress. For the maker seems to have forgotten that style and glitz alone do not make interesting viewing.

"Musafir" suffers from a lack of purpose. There is no worthwhile story that justifies its making and there appears to be no purpose other than indulge in skin show and macho men in ugly stubbles and silver-filled teeth.

Babes wander about in the skimpiest of clothes and their stories or what ever drives them are unimpressive. Even if it is a traumatised, sexually abused woman who ends up killing.

Let's not get this wrong. It is not that there is no sympathy for such people. These are real life situations and such things do happen. It is just the way it has been presented that irks you.

Besides the key characters in the film, Billa (Sanjay Dutt), Lucky (Anil Kapoor), Tiger (Aditya Pancholi), Lara (Keona Mitra), Sam (Sameera Reddy), Luka ( Mahesh Manjrekar) and Whacko Jacky (Shakti Kapoor) drift in and out of the frames looking lethal and crabby and kudos to those who figure out why they do so.

Billa is the don of the drug world. He is ruthless, dresses in leather and spiky accessories, smoking cigars and kills people like you would swat flies.

He has a macabre sense of humour, drawing popular dialogue from Hindi films and laughing raucously while his victims quiver like jelly.

Lucky is a solitary man with no family, making his money doing con jobs that pay for his swank home and fancy cars. Just when he wants to hang up his boots and retire to a nice home and a beautiful woman, the sultry expressionless Lara, — whose appeal lies in washing cars and herself — she does a major con job on him and disappears. So he now needs to get that back or at best take up something that will pay for his last dream.

Billa is after him for `the money.' Return it, he threatens, or have a bullet through the head. One does not know what money or whose it is ?

Meanwhile, Sam waltzes into Lucky's life pirouetting in the breeze and looking like she needs a saviour when her car breaks down.

Tiger, who is actually a police officer but never wears his uniform, is also after Lucky for `the money.' And so is Luka, but not before killing his sexy wife, Sam, (yeah the same one ) who he thinks is cheating on him. And Sam, you discover, is this `poor thing' being traumatised by Luka.

Loud background score and sound effects overpower the dialogue, while too many editing techniques and colour impressions distract from the narration.

Sanjay Dutt has done too many variations of the don, while Anil Kapoor tries really hard to look macho.

Aditya is perhaps the one who is most realistic, just as Mahesh does a good job as the sleazy husband.

Both the girls, Keona Mitra (being introduced) and Sameera look good but are a very long way before they can impress with their acting capabilities. Maybe it would be a good idea if Sanjay Gupta put his abilitiesto directing better films, ones with substance for instance?

CHITRA MAHESH

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