February 22, 2020
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Knock Out

A ludicrous thriller which makes you laugh at its stupidities, plotholes and implausibilities.

Knock Out
Knock Out
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Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan, Kangana Ranaut, Apoorva Lakhia
Directed by Mani Shankar
Rating: *

Here’s Mani Shankar’s easy formula to make Knock Out. Shamelessly lift the core idea—of a man held hostage by a shooter in a telephone booth—from Hollywood’s Phone Booth. Add to it the ‘common man turns vigilante, holds the police and city captive’ element of our very own A Wednesday and then throw in a dash of topicality with a half-baked ‘illegal money in Swiss banks’ angle. Mix it all up clumsily to create a ludicrous thriller which makes you laugh at its stupidities, plotholes and implausibilities.

On the surface, Knock Out might look stylish with the gadgetry and stunts, but that’s about all that it can boast of. Sanjay Dutt plays the shooter with laidback ease except when he has to offer painful patriotic lectures. Irrfan is a corrupt, power-driven, womanising investment banker that Sanjay is out to teach a lesson to. Irrfan wears the strangest, curliest hairpiece of his career and is made to dance to ‘Touch me touch me touch me’ even as you moan and groan for the actor in him getting reduced to a buffoon. The Sanjay-Irrfan interactions and their cat-and-mouse game are more hysterical than electric or engaging. The humiliation of Irrfan and his sudden, sentimental change of heart, acceptance of guilt, consequent redemption and abrupt celebration of him as a hero totally lacks conviction. Things lead up to a most anarchic and untidy climax with a strange mix of ideology, politics and conscience at play. The child trafficking problem and electronic transfer of Swiss money back to the national treasury is feeble and unpersuasive. Moreover, equating patriotism with Rs 30,000 crore and ‘Vande Mataram’ as the background score is outrageously absurd. Kangana boldly wears an off-shoulder dress to look authentic as a hardnosed TV journo covering the incident. Her journo shows better investigative skills than the cops and easily sneaks into the building where the shooter is perched, a place that even the commandos find hard to take over. Meanwhile, the actress is in dire need of voice training and dialogue delivery coaching. The cherry on the cake is Apoorva Lakhia as a conscienceless encounter specialist. He makes the most pokerfaced appearance in Hindi cinema since Priya Rajvansh.


High Fives

Bollywood

  1. Crook
  2. Anjana Anjani
  3. Robot (dubbed)
  4. Do Dooni Chaar
  5. Dabangg

Hollywood

  1. The Social Network
  2. Life as we Know it
  3. Secretariat
  4. Legends of the Guardians
  5. My Soul to Take

Latino

  1. Nina De Corazon (La Arrolladora Banda)
  2. Cuando Me Enamoro (Enrique Iglesias)
  3. Dime Que Me Quieres (Banda El Recodo)
  4. I Like it (Enrique Iglesias)
  5. Al Diablo Lo Nuestro (Espinoza Paz)

Courtesy: Film Information

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