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Arbaaz Ali Khan
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The nexus between politicians, police and gangster is so strong that there will be no dearth of story revolving around it. Director Kabeer Kaushik tried to rope in some real incidences to tell a story on this theme. Being closely associated with police which he had proved by being the director of "Seher" which was undoubtedly one of the best realistic Indian film on police force, the expectation from Kaushik is maximum but sadly "maximum" doesn't reach to the maximum potential of the director. The film revolves around Mumbai the city to chase one's dream to its maximum and this is the same city that gives maximum space to outsiders. Starting in Max-Mumbai 2003 the story ends just after 26/11 2008 terrorist attack and in the span of half a decade we see the rise and fall of few police men, builders, politicians and journalist. With ego clashes leading to cold war which gets bloody with the proceedings it seem that whole system was more interested in settling their own scores totally ignorant of the foreign development which led to the massive 26/11 attack. Loosely based on facts the film does reflects the negligence of the system which led to the catastrophe and all because of two self indulgent police officers' ego to outwit one another. And in the web we have the ministers, senior police men, builders all caught up to gain the maximum power and in between a media journalist using that rivalry to climb up the ladder of his career. At a script level Kabeer Kaushik does had a nice story to tell but it lost in translation as the proceedings goes on and on without anything much happening. Even audience were aware that everyone will double cross the other to reach to the zenith so nothing came as a surprise. Even the last twist about the supposed "good" character being the main conspirator didn't come as surprise as it could be well gauged earlier. The credit should be given for the creation of so many grey characters but then when you throw in a dicey "white" men inside a bunch of "greys" it becomes evident that that person possess some dubious qualities covered under his diplomatic existence. As a director the story telling method of Kaushik is commendable as he uses non-liner narrative to keep in some mystery in the proceedings but the time taken to build up the main story was too lengthy for audience's patience and amidst facts and file there seems to be a lack of soul. The characters came and go but they didn't seem to touch the audience even when he tried to show the emotional bonding of Pandit & his family. It is true that at the end one will feel for Pandit's daughter but by then one have already developed enough apathy than empathy. Few sequences does deserve mention like the one where Pandit's father who is an English professor shouting lines from Shakespeare standing under rain in a rainy deserted marine drive. Then the sequence where the minister tells the journalist how Mumbai is open to outsiders but to a certain level. The camera gave a feeling of claustrophobic existence amidst treacheries but the back ground score tried to hard to make it a thriller.Editing was just perfect as the continuity of the frames in the non-liner blocks didn't seem disjointed. There is a small animated sequence, even though out of place, was neatly done. There is no scope for song but still an item song (the famous telugu song "Aa aante amplapuram" remake) is forced and one gets to see the sexy Hazel Keech in it. Sonu Sood as Pandit impresses. His cold look with hint of smile and "dabang-ed" moustache does reflect authority. Except the scene in the climax where he brakes down he is quite effective and confident otherwise. Naseeruddin Shah doesn't seem to be interested in the film. As an actor of such reputation he didn't seem to fit the bill. Neha Dhupia was acceptable as the simple saree clad wife of Pandit. Mohan Agashe repeats himself as the commissioner. Amit Sadh as the journalist was quite impressive. His gradual success over the period of 6 years reflected in his mannerism and his dress. Vinay Pathak is not in his regular comic avatar but he leaves a mark as the minister who wants to make it big in Mumbai even though considers himself as outsider in the maximum city. Rajendra Gupta is impressive as Pandit's father.There are other actors like Arya Babber, Anjana Sukhani who fills the gap. The climax at the railway bridge, the gun shots, the vulnerability of human existence, the corrupt human minds all are brilliantly crafted but somehow while watching those I got flashes of Sehar's climax where you have the brilliant Pankaj Kapoor, the professor who is using the gun for the first time and that nervousness is captured with perfection. May be I shouldn't have taken the memories of Seher while watching this but then that is the problem when a director makes such a brilliant film it becomes his trade mark. and when both the films are about Police men.Sadly Kabeer Kaushik's new venture lacked the excellent craftsmanship shown in his debut film Seher. On a whole Maximum is a strictly average fare.
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