How would you feel if you are shoved into a room full of annoying and unwanted people with no room to escape? Suffocating right? That's exactly how we felt while being witness to a train compartment occupied with actors ranging from horrid to atrocious. The film in question is Rajdhani Express that finally sees the light of the day after many years.
Rajdhani express is a film set in the compartment of a train by the same name. It is the story of an errand boy Keshav (Leander Paes) for a gun runner. On one errand Keshav steals the weapons and books a ticket on the Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai to escape. However, his fate follows him through his escape onto the train in the form of Yadav (Jimmy Shergill), the DY Commissioner of ATS.
While trying to apprehend Keshav, Yadav manages to extracts political mileage from the situation weaving a web, endangering not only Keshav, but also his co-passengers. However The Commissioners has his ulterior motive to get even with his boss, the Home Minister, whose parents also happens to be on the train.
In the meantime, nursing the ire for having being looked down upon all his life, Keshav points out his gun on his co-passengers PC Bannerjee (Priyanshu Chatterjee), Munish (Sudhanshu Pandey) and Sunita (Puja Bose) who try to ridicule him. All hell breaks loose in the train as he gets accused for being a terrorist. Whether he escapes the situation or not follows through the rest of the plot.
Debutant filmmaker Ashok Kohli intends on making a socio-political drama but with the lack of even the basic filmmaking skills, he fails to bring out any aspect of his set theme. Instead his movie turns into a long tedious tirade which literally numbs your brains. Neither does he establish the premise nor delve into any plot to make sense to the audience. Most of the proceedings are left for you to make sense of but with the tawdry execution of it all you stop bothering after a point.
The editing is the biggest flaw of the film. The back and forth in the story, the many intercuts of time span that too in flashbacks are very disoriented and only add to the agony of the viewer. Also scene cuts are losely handled. Even the other technicalities like camera work are mediocre. There are far too many shots out of focus in the film and can easily be pointed out.
Ever since the film got announced the only key element in the film has been the presence of ace tennis player Leander Paes. However, one look at him and you know it's the biggest wrong move he could ever make. The actor only maintains two looks throughout the film - A straight faced tough guy look in the first half and a laughing face in the second. Even his charactersketch is very sketchy with most of the things left for audience to understand.
One can still give Leander Paes a benefit of doubt as he hasn't had a formal training in acting or any experience but reasonably experienced actor Priyanshu Chatterjee's antics are unforgivable. His caricaturish Bengali twang and amateurish acting annoy the audience. Sudhanshu Pandey falters too and the debuting actress Puja Bose should seriously reconsider acting altogether. The only actor who plays his part reasonably well is Jimmy Shergill but since his character gets written so badly, even he fails to salvage the film.
Music by Lahu Madhav and Ritesh Nalini is lackluster. Some of the songs are pointlessly placed and sound really horrid.
This Rajdhani Express surely doesn't offer a jolly good ride. Abroad this journey at your own risk.