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Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Yusuf Khan
 Daboo Malik, Baboo Mann
 Faaiz Anwar
 Suniel Shetty, Ajay Jadeja, Celina Jaitly, Sunny Deol

By Kshama Rao

Khel, produced by Suniel Shetty and written, edited and directed by first-timer Yusuf Khan is as juvenile as they come. These days every actor worth his streaked hair wants to do a mean number. Nasty is in and bad is good.

So you have Dev Mallya (Suniel), a business tycoon cum goonda whose entry in every scene is accompanied by some deafening background music. Some special effects too every time he kicks someone, drives his car or lights his ciggie. His bachpan ka dost is Rohan Poddar (Ajay Jadeja), the son of a philanthropist but a good for nothing whose heart is larger than a pumpkin and mouths some philosophical lines like 'Maine kisi ka bura nahin kiya to bhagwan bhi mera bura nahin kar sakta'. Then there is the blue-grey-lens-eyed Saanjh (Celina Jaitly) who is a painter-cum-interior-designer. She falls in love with Rohan while Mallya has his eyes set on her. However, Mallya with his immense clout frames Rohan in a murder case and has him imprisoned for life. After a couple of dream sequences, Saanjh and Mallya live happily ever after! Not quite as there is ACP Rajveer Scindia (Sunny Deol) who still hasn't flexed his muscles. Scindia has known Rohan and so he just can't believe that the latter could have killed someone. He smells the rat and after some clichéd scenes brings Mallya to book. End of story! Yes.

What is it these days with directors that a love relationship is established just after the boy and girl have exchanged pleasantries! While the love between Saanjh and Rohan is half-baked, Mallya going nutty over Saanjh is simply silly. Add to that the elaborate plans he makes to frame Rohan. Come on, bachpan ka dost and all, Mallya forgets everything the minute he bumps into the shapely Saanjh.

Add to that the insipid music and some strange special effects. Worse, the amateur performances by Jadeja and Jaitly. The ex-cricketer has a silly grin throughout the film and his squeaky voice makes him sound like a galli ka tapori. Also, be it his scenes with Saanjh where he's supposed to be romantic or in the court when he's supposed to be 'framed for murder', Jadeja has the same 'I-am-trying-to-act' expression. Jaitly seems to have concentrated more on her make-up and clothes. Suniel Shetty as the meanie, slightly arrogant, Mallya is good in the nasty parts. But the film, that is the second half belongs clearly to Sunny Deol. He sleepwalks through the role.

All said and done, director Yusuf Khan will have to play some other game to hook the audience.

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