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Friday, August 28, 2009

Sankat City 

Other than two forced references at the beginning and the end of the film, the unnaturally-named and even more unnaturally-made Sankat City does not directly reference the city much and in fact the only ones weaken what was never a taut plot in the first place. An empty B.E.S.T bus lumbering uphill and then downhill and a garbage dump the size of Scrooge’s money bin may seem thin devices indeed.

However the absence of a cogent storyline is more than made up with a textured humour that imbues most scenes and breathes life into a maze of otherwise improbable characters bumbling their way past and sometimes into obelisk-size boulders. A ragtag bunch of unabashedly dissolute and avaricious rascals which range from opportunistic goldfish-loving car-thieves, dough-worshipping film producers and saintly moneylenders who turn Satanic when the moolah is not returned, to enterprising prostitutes, Walter Mitty-esque cab drivers and wanton Swamijis make hay while director Pankaj Advani leaves the cameras rolling.

A fine cast led by the versatile Kay Kay and Anupam Kher run amok among accomplished television actors in Manoj Pahwa, Sanjay Mishra, Hemant Pandey ( Office Office ),and Virendra Saxena, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Shrivallabh Vyas, Jehangir Khan, Rahul Dev. Rimi ( again spouting Bengali when in trouble which is often) and Yashpal Sharma ( mouthing Mind-blowing incessantly !) steal the show with eye-catching performances juxtaposed with a slaveringly-hamming Chunkey Pandey.

Even if one walks away with the feeling that Advani could have done away with some farcical elements ( the dangling-from-the window discovery of twins discovering each other after a mela-melee) and some scenes appearing unnecessarily rushed, the individual elements of this songless and breezy caper do deserve a viewing for their own selves.


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