Machine: Heartless obviously and Joyless too!

Film: Machine

Cast: Mustafa Burmawala, Kiara Advani, Eshan Shankar, Rishab Arora, Ronit Roy, Supriya Karnik, Johnny Lever, Daleep Tahil, Carla Ruth Dennis, Shabbir Burmawala, Mridanjali Rawal, Sharat Saxena,

Viveck Vaswani, Mayuresh Wadkar

Director (Duo): Abbas-Mastan (Burmawala)

Nepotism reigns in Bollywood – no doubt about that when a director duo’s heir apparent gets to plunk his undistinguished looks & skills in a convoluted extravaganza tailor made to showcase his talents (suspect). The opening credits itself tell us a story. The Director duo say thanks to reigning superstars Shah Rukh, Salman & Akshay Kumar for proposing (methinks)  Mustafa Burmawala’s name for this hopeless convoluted film (after probably having rejected the film  themselves). Abbas-Mastan may have earned some bucks from their last effort, an archetypical witless slapstick comedy starring comedy show superstar Kapil Sharma but they are more than likely to lose all that hard earned wealth in this obviously soulless affair.

Needless to say the Burmawala duo’s latest homespun effort ‘Machine’ echoes their most entertaining work yet, Baazigar’s, theme of a love so strong and pure that it even overlooks the unforgivable criminality of the hero. Well, you guessed it – unknown entity Ransh (Mustafa) bumps into cosseted rich girl Saira Thapar (Kiara Advani) on a treacherous oil-spilled stretch of road in Switzerland standing in for ‘somewhere in North India.’

They race into a love affair and marriage even before you can blink your eyes. But before that two of her other admirers Aditya (Ehsas Shankar) and another aggressive lackey, seemingly appear to have check-mated themselves to the death. Post honeymoon, it’s time for Ransh to toss her off a cliff.  And without so much as an investigation or doubts raised, he moves on to his next prey, another rich man Kris Alter (Dalip Tahil)’s daughter Serena(Carla Ruth Dennis) who lives in Georgia.

In prurient fantasies like these, it’s always so easy to relocate without time and the law playing spoilsport. So even if Ransh manages to escape to a foreign locale he encounters a conveniently resurrected Saira (purportedly saved) by recently departed Aditya’s twin Raj (Ehsas Shankar) , a commando, who thinks nothing of taking the law in his own hands. Then of course it’s time for vengeance.

Sanjeev Kaul’s script is totally hare-brained. There are so many illogical twists and turns that you get dizzy just trying to make sense of the characters and their intent. Silly explanations regarding ideological indoctrination causing ‘machine-like’ behaviour in the titular lead and extremely ridiculous skulduggery in the plotting will leave you enervated rather than enthused.

Kiara appears to be channelling Hema Malini here (not a good thing for a young actress surely?) while Mustafa is so short of stature (in more ways than the obvious) that he might as well not be there. Songs are a bore and the background score gets all worked up trying to ply a sinister tone, unsuccessfully at that. Other than the lavish cinematography and luxuriant plumage there’s nothing worthwhile for any cinegoer here.

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