Shortcut Romeo (2013) *LQ*

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Suraj [Neil Nitin Mukesh], a good for nothing youth, arrives from Goa to Mumbai. He chances upon a couple indulging in love making on the lawns of a golf course. He shoots the act and later learns that the lovers, Monica [Ameesha Patel] and Ashish [Bunty Grewal], wouldn’t mind shelling out a couple of lacs to keep their affair a secret from Monica’s husband [Rajesh Shringarpure].

Suraj starts blackmailing Monica, demanding money for the footage he has shot. Monica has no choice but to succumb to the blackmail. In the meanwhile, Suraj falls in love with Sherry [Puja Gupta] and has a change of heart. But Monica decides to get even with Suraj and a dangerous cat and mouse game ensues.

Almost 31 years ago, BEZUBAAN narrated the story of a housewife [Reena Roy] trying to keep an affair concealed from her husband [Shashi Kapoor] when a blackmailer [Naseeruddin Shah] comes knocking on her door. Although the plot of BEZUBAAN bears a striking resemblance to SHORTCUT ROMEO, the similarities end there. For, not just the blackmailer, but each and every character in the movie has grey shades. That’s one of the prime reasons why this cat and mouse saga seems fascinating.

Susi embellishes the film with several attention-grabbing moments. The characters of Neil and Ameesha, for instance, give the film the required edge. Additionally, Susi knows how to keep the audience attention arrested. The screenwriting never falls prey to the tried and tested formulaic stuff that Bollywood is known for. Even the conclusion leaves you completely shocked [it’s super!], since the spectator had never imagined the film would end on that note.

The film loosens its grip slightly at times. Besides, the drama leading to the climax could’ve been crisper. Also, the romantic portions are not as persuasive as the thrilling moments.

Neil Nitin Mukesh has made a career out of playing dark and edgy characters and with this film, he takes one step forward. His wicked grin, the steely glint in his eyes when he blackmails Monica and his nasty sneer makes him the kind of characters one loves to hate. Ameesha Patel as the unfaithful wife Monica is decent enough whereas Puja is quite easy on the eyes, though she doesn’t get to do much in way of acting. – See more at: http://www.movietalkies.com/movies/reviews/20299/shortcut-romeo#sthash.epjahN0r.dpuf

A remake of Susi Ganesh’s South flick, Shortcut Romeo is one of the few films where the male lead is so deliciously bad that inserting a villain in the film would have been overkill. The movie has been shot quite well though at times, it feels as if the director is focusing more on the locales than on the plot. The cat-and-mouse game will keep you on the edge of your seat for sure and the action scenes, specially the one featuring the African tribals, are a visual delight.

However, on the flip side, the film doesn’t have that edginess that one associates with thrillers such as Neil’s debut Johnny Gaddaar and the songs serve no other purpose than interfering with the plot.

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