Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K
Ashu, Shamir Tandon, Roshan Machado and Mahesh Shankar
Vaibhav Modi, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Shabbir Ahmed and Chintan Gandhi
Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Cyrus Broacha, Boman Irani , and Vinod Khanna
99 Movie Review
May 28, 2009 2:47:37 PM IST By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
In one scene, one of the characters, a cop who is assigned to crack the bookie-cricketer nexus, states on national television, ''Never mind if there is no script in a movie, the picture gets completed; but in a cricket match, a script is a must.'' He is referring to match fixing. He could well have been referring to the movie he was mouthing the lines for. 99 is one of those movies, which have good intent, but no content. It's a hotchpotch of scenes, which try in vain to catch up with the plot.
Behind the scenes are two directors trying to make sense of the scenario - Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. In short, there is no understanding between the two directors (read batsmen) and they end up with a comedy of errors in trying to run each other out.
The scene is set in 1999, the height of the alleged match-fixing scandal, and just as the Justice Chandrachud Commission, which was instituted to probe into the alleged controversy came out with no conclusive evidence, so also 99.
There's Boman Irani, a compulsive gambler, who borrows money like there's no tomorrow. Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Khemu, two friends who manufacture duplicate sim cards. When their luck runs out, they run into Mahesh Manjrekar, a bookie, who uses them to recover his dues from his borrowers. There's also Soha Ali Khan a lobby manager in a five star hotel in Delhi and Simone Singh, who plays Boman's love interest. There's also Vinod Khanna, the brain behind the match fixing.
With no definite plot, the film meanders to its evident end. There are a few scenes though that are well thought out and the man who stars in them is Amit Mistry. I saw him first in January in BAD LUCK GOVIND and was impressed with his talent. I had referred to him as ''a versatile, volatile performer. A good talent.'' He reinforces that belief.
Cyrus Broacha is confused. Being on the small screen for so long, he feels all gags are being done for television and ends up repeating his Bakra acts. Kunal Khemu is a lambi race ka ghoda. Boman is impressive but as confused for lack of script. Simone Singh in her bit role is endearing.
If you have been a cricket buff like me, and who lost interest in the game post-1999, you will clearly see Zulu (Lance Klusener) dropping a sitter as India needs six of the last over to win in one of the matches in 1999. There's a close-up of the late Hansie Cronje and you wonder why Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja were the only casualties.