A fresh tale of 'Con Banega Crorepati'

A fresh tale of 'Con Banega Crorepati'

A fresh tale of 'Con Banega Crorepati'

Raja Natwarlal
Hindi (U/A) ¬¬¬
Director: Kunal Deshmukh
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Emraan Hashmi, Kay Kay Menon, Deepak Tijori, Humaima

Action and romantic films have for long faced flak over accusations of promoting sex and violence.

It’s about time flicks like ‘Raja Natwarlal’ received their due for “filling impressionable heads with criminal ideas”, or whatever other trope the ever-offended outrage brigade comes up with.

Director Kunal Deshmukh, who ought to get a fare share of that blame, has directed a con film that starts out as a big yawner, but ends up being one of the more satisfying rides the audience can be taken on.

He leaves precious few, if at all any, loose ends in telling the story of the crook (Emraan Hashmi as his usual self) who wants to defraud a cricket-crazy tycoon (Kay Kay Menon continuing his negative turn, but equally effectively, from several other films) for having killed a fellow-con (Deepak Tijori).

He is aided in his quest by a mentor (the silver-screen chameleon Paresh Rawal) who has his own reason to join the game, and a bunch of henchmen. Thankfully, even the heroine (Humaima Malick) has a pivotal role in the story of the film.

The observant viewer will see the twists coming from a mile away, but the average audience, otherwise fed a Khan-or-Kumar diet, will love how the final scenes explain the whole film, a la Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’.

In the end, the music, the cinematography, and a lot of other aspects of ‘Raja Natwarlal’ fail to rise above average. And yet, they combine with a slightly different story and some half-believable situations to make the film a decent entertainer that had a lot of promise, but didn’t deliver on all of them.