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05-03-06, 01:49 AM
Movie Review: Taxi No. 9211
Producer: Ramesh Sippy
Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Nana Patekar, John Abraham, Sonali Kulkarni, Sameera Reddy
Taxi No. 9211 is a fast-paced entertainer that blends comedy with emotional drama. It takes you to an intriguing ride in Mumbai - a city of 20 million people where it has tried to reflect two segments of people, their lifestyle and their problems. The ride becomes bumpy when these two people from different genre of society are forced to travel together in a Taxi numbered 9 2 11. This ride takes out the worst from them and in the end make them take a serious look at themselves which otherwise would not have been possible.
Raghav Shastri (Nana Patekar) is a short tempered cynic, who has changed 23 jobs in last 15 years due to his cynical and egoistic attitude. To the world and his wife Rupali (Sonali Kulkarni), he is an insurance salesman but actually he is a caustic, though witty cabby who needs thirty thousand rupees by the end of today to pay his son’s school fees, to pay the owner of the taxi and to clear his other debts. For this he needs every rich passenger he can.
Jai Mittal (John Abraham) is a wealthy socialite, the acidic heir to a rich business family, who has to go to the court to prove his claim of Rs. 300 crore. Jai Mittal’s father has left a will which states that his loyal employee would get all the money while his son would not get a single penny. Of course he gear to fights this and is ably supported by his girlfriend Sameera Reddy. Just prior to the day of hearing, Jai returns from a party and gets his car banged. So on the day of the hearing he catches a cab to collect his will from the locker and present it in the court.
For the first time he come across Raghav (taxi driver) and then starts a rollercoaster ride where the dialogues between the two and the twist and turns in the story will keep you engrossed till the end. Two attitudes clash and two lives will change.
Jai in his pursuit to reach the court on time instigates Raghu to speedup and they meet with an accident. The situation puts Nana in the lockup along with Jai’s locker keys that Jai had dropped during the accident. When Jai realize this, he wants the locker key from Raghu but Raghu will not let it go at any cost. It is his revenge from Jai for putting him in a nasty situation. Jai innocently reveals Raghu’s profession to his wife making things even worse for Raghu. Raghu run away from the lockup and open a locker account in the same bank and tricks away Jai’s Will. Unable to lay his hands on the Will Jai looses the case. Jai girlfriend dumps him and this make him realize the hollow relationships that exists in his social circle. John reflects on his misdeeds with growing disbelief: night clubs, girls, money but no real friend in worse situations. In contrast, Raghu’s wife stands by him only to show the strengths of marriage and children that hold relations together in testing times.
The intriguing aspect of film is that both Nana and John are brought to cut throat situation due to the pressures of life. By the end of the day these men recognize things about themselves which might otherwise not have made them understood. At last Jai pays for Raghu’s bail and also shares a drink at home. Raghu also give him his fathers will realizing his mistakes.
Director Milan Luthria has done a brilliant job of starring an interesting combination of opposites - Nana Patekar and John Abraham. John who has always plyed roles of good-looking, romantic hunk is placed into the role of a cynic and Nana who has mostly played power packed roles, play a low-key, cab driver dominated by circumstances. And both have pulled it off brightly. The underlying tension between the two is well played. Also the comic chemistry between Nana and John has shown well.
Nana’s one liners are always a treat. John has also shown remarkable acting skills apart from his good looks. This time his look has not overshadowed his performance and it merge well in the film. His voice modulation has again improved. Although the film is centered on Nana-John, surprisingly both leading ladies have been given enough screen space. Sonali Kulkarni has done a splendid job as a wife of an ever angry,fighting husband, even though who loves his family very much. Sameera Redyy is just passable.
Songs are also passable. ‘Ek Nazar’ which comes at the start and end sets the pace off for the movie and the rap number ‘Meter Down’ at the end is a treat for the viewers. The visuals of Mumbai look mesmerizing and one can’t help but fall in love with the locales. Priyanka Chopra small appearance will take the viewers by present surprise. Sanjay Dutt mumbhaiya narrative is also uniquely interesting.
Taxi no 9211 might have been a tough ride for Nana and John but it is a joyride for us.
Some great sequences:
-Nana tells his son to be Sachin Tendulkar and not Kaif
-Ever going interaction between John and Nana.
-John cribbing about Nana’s driving skills to his girlfriend on phone
-John revealing Nana’s true identity to his wife
-Sonali and Nana at the railway station
-Nana tries to take the life of John in the heat of the moment.
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