Kidnap (2008) *MQ*

The new kid on the block is indeed quite natty. Sanjay Gadhvi’s thriller may be low on Dhoom this time, but young Imran Khan more than makes up for the sluggish pace and the mediocre script. His transition from the sweet, chocolate boy hero of his debut film, Jaane Tu…into a mean, merciless, embittered and scarred vengeance-seeker is smooth and convincing. Of course, the pout is still there, but so is the newly acquired stubble, the deadpan voice, the no-frills histrionics. Interesting.

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan, Minisha Lamba, Vidya, Rima

Sonia (Minnisha) is kidnapped in the second scene of the film because the first has her sauntering for an introductory item number. Nevertheless that’s still speedy for a Bollywood film to come straight to the point. Kidnapper Kabir (Imran Khan) wants to negotiate only with Sonia’s father Vikrant Raina (Sanjay Dutt) who is separated from her mother (Vidya Malvade). He doesn’t demand ransom but initiates a game where he leaves cryptic clues for Raina through mediums like nuns and notes and wants him to resolve the mystery to reach his daughter. The cat and mouse game begins with each one trying to outdo the other.

Kidnap has a smart storyline with well-etched plot-points giving ample scope to both its key players to take precedence in the game without overshadowing the other at any instance. But the execution of certain episodes of the game at advanced stages seems too far-fetched and formulaic. Like the one where Raina barges in Central Jail and facilitates the fleeing of a prisoner appears outmoded.

On the whole, KIDNAP fails to grip you and that is its biggest flaw. At the box-office, KIDNAP being teen sensation Imran Khan’s immediate release after the blockbuster hit JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA would ensure a strong opening weekend, but the poor merits are sure to take a toll once the initial euphoria subsides. Disappointing!

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