All in the family
Half way into `Family,' you suddenly wonder if `Kisna' was still the worst movie ever made. Because `Family' almost snatches that position with its all-around mediocrity. If `Kisna' saw the showman director Subhash Ghai fall from grace to grave, `Family' is Raj Kumar Santoshi's turn to prove that he can be as bad as the others in the business. The primary flaw with `Family' is that it tries to create a `Godfather'-like saga with moral instructions.
So what you get is a half-hearted attempt at creating an all-powerful character who knows how to waste a cigar. Apparently, he is so powerful that people shiver while his name is mentioned but the man hardly has manpower given that he does most of his elimination hit-man jobs himself.
To make that worse, you see a `dandiya gang' (as one of the characters rightly calls the pack of youngsters who decide to be gangsters straight out of college after a freak shootout) take on a don with such ease that all that build-up in the first few minutes of the film falls flat by interval.
Aryamaan, producer Keshavram Ramsay's son, is so terribly wooden that when he locks his sunken eyes to portray intensity, he just appears like he's staring hard. So throughout the movie, you have Aryamaan staring like he's just seen a ghost. And in the melodramatic scenes, he looks like it too. Unless he's making `Dracula' or any C-grade Ramsay horror flick, there is no reason any director in the right frame of mind would choose an `actor' like Aryamaan.
Even an in-form Akshay Kumar hams in a half-baked role of a chef with an ideal `parivaar.' The scene where Aryamaan visits the scene of crime and visualises his brother's final moments is a howler. Raj Kumar Santoshi or Mel Brooks?
Even Bachchan's cool is thoroughly wasted until the very end when he redeems his stature during the saving grace of the movie: the climax. It is the climax that actually saves the film from dislodging `Kisna.'
There are a couple of scenes that remind you that the film is indeed by Santoshi but overall, the director seems to try hard to imitate one of those slick Sanjay Gupta rip-offs in style and presentation. That Bollywood has come to a stage that a much-acclaimed reputed director like Santoshi does an unoriginal Sanjay Gupta is a scary thought.
Maybe `Family' is just Raj Kumar Santoshi's thanksgiving exercise to the man who produced `Khakee.'
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