Free Press Journal

Phamous movie: Review, Cast, Director


Film: Phamous

Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Jackie Shroff, Kay Kay Menon, Pankaj Tripathi, Shriya Saran, Mahie Gill, Brijendra Kala, Jameel Khan

Director: Karan Lalit Butani

Rating: * *

Set in and around the Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh, this film has dacoits wearing fancy designer outfits and mouthing a dialect that is incomprehensible and distinctly off-putting. Don’t know why they designated it a Hindi film when only a sparing few of the dialogues were understandable?

Cinema is a language by itself, never mind what the actors speak – so what we essentially get from this fanciful exercise is distinct types of criminality. Shambhu (Jackie Shroff) mistakenly shoots his own daughter while aiming for the dastardly brigand Kadak Singh (Kay Kay) who is attempting to kidnap her from the marriage mandap. Slimy, woman hungry politician Tripathi (Pankaj Tripathi) lusts after every woman that crosses his path, leaving a trail of rape and murder in his wake.

This is lawless land and the cops only have an observational role to play – token jail terms notwithstanding. Radhe, the young school kid who refuses to identify Kadak Singh as the murderer whom he witnessed, eventually grows up (to be Jimmy Shergill), marries Lali (Shriya Saran) and ends up trucking with the devil he helped to escape. It’s only when Tripathi demands Lali for his prize, that Radhe awakens the avenger in him and gets cracking.

Needless to say, there are little sense and sensibility powering this exercise in fancifulness. The editing is stilted, the narrative lacks story-telling continuity and the performances end up looking showy rather than gritty. Though the film’s publicity material underlines the fact that the film was shot in the Chambal region there’s hardly any distinguishing feature here alluding to it. Stray shots of the beehad valley don’t make up for that omission. This film not only looks dated (production began sometime in 2012), it plays out in ridiculous and implausible fashion. Such a pity that a wonderful line-up of actors was wasted in this self-defeating exercise!