After Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’, most Bollywood heroes can punch and kick so hard that they can shatter car windshields and send the baddies flying away in slow-motion.
So, much like his on-screen peers, Suraj of ‘Shortcut Romeo’ also possess such incredible power, only his intentions aren’t just as noble.
He’s a rogue who cashes in on a rich woman’s infidelity.
What unfolds is a preposterous illogical clunker that traces his blackmails and how he constantly extracts money from her to keep her scandalous video locked away.
Tamil director Susi Ganesh might’ve thought it wise to remake his 2006-hit ‘Thiruttu Payale’ for his Bollywood debut, only he forgets to rework the concept and adapt it today’s world.
Instead, his story and screenplay are pretty much untouched, with the translation changing the one-international destination from Australia to Kenya.
That’s about how much work he has done. And, it shows.
During the 145 minutes of show-time, which is peppered with numerous synchronised group dances that even involve Kenyan tribals and some shoddy graphics, Susi indulges a considerable chunk to batter and bruise its inglorious hero, who buys the riches without breaking into a sweat.
With Susi’s story travelling to the Kenyan terrain, his screenplay even attempts to do a National Geographic, and captures a tiger attack.
And between all this, there’s an intense love story, a sob tale about corrupt parents damaging their children irrevocably and even a revenge saga.
Yes, it gets audaciously illogical and supremely tiring.
There are so many attacks and counter attacks, that it gets tough to keep a tab.
Yet, we endure the torture, with the hope that Susi would tie it all together with an imposing end. Only, that hope is crushed greatly when the hero suddenly turns into Forrest Gump. He ropes in the baddies for an impromptu run, only to return to his Hulk persona to beat them up.
What is even more painful is to watch the talented Neil Nitin Mukesh ruin his reputation with such in inane movie. Probably, he thought thumping Kenyans, badmouthing all and sundry, and playing a ruffian is a shortcut to winning an audience. Only, he has miscalculated terribly.
Ameesha Patel plays the most inconsistent character of them all. Her wealthy Monica appears gullible at one time, and immensely menacing and calculated at another. Leaving us bemused.
There’s also Pooja Gupta, who goes from playing a bombshell to a damsel in distress in a matter of a few scenes. She has to pout and preen at one moment, and wail at another. With just one expression, it’s tough to spot the difference.
Of the supporting cast, Rajesh Shringapure uses his deep baritone and his sparkling white kurta to play the ever-loving and extremely hardworking husband Rahul. His flaw is evident when he is pushed into an emotional turmoil.
Susi also makes an appearance as Rahul’s childhood friend and detective, who finally unveils the real picture.
Towards the end of the movie, there’s an attempt at being profound with the line; “If you want money then forget love. If you want love then forget money.”
So, where does that leave us? Completely broken.