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Machine  ( UA ) (2017)  (Hindi)
The director duo Abbas-Mustan launch Mustafa (son of Abbas) with this romance cum murder thriller cum demented psychological drama. They try so hard to offer as many hairpin bends as they possibly can add, but the young actors in this race are so callow, their romance is unintentionally hilarious. 1 out of 5 (Poor) Machine NOWRUNNING REVIEW | Manisha Lakhe (NOWRUNNING)
Critics Rating: |  1 Review
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This pretty young thing, Sarah (Kiara Advani, who looks more and more like Esha Deol/Hema Malini through the movie) is donating money to a school run by nuns somewhere in 'North India' which suspiciously looks like foreign locale. She zooms off on to the mountainous road in a fancy car, until her car skids on a patch of oil on the road. Maybe this is India, you think. But the hero Ransh (Mustafa) could be the next skid victim and she stops him from skidding. Then boldly says, 'I need a ride back to town, but only if I drive your car.'

You are as surprised as the hero, but go along because there are songs after songs to establish they study in an art college, and both race cars. In North India? Hmm... You begin to laugh when their music teacher wants to produce Romeo and Juliet for the annual program and add another chapter called: Heaven because she believes Romeo meets with Juliet in heaven and are united forever. Before you fall off the chair, two classmates of Sarah (Aditya, her best friend and the forgettable but aggressive Vicky) are dead trying to romance her at the Love-Lock bridge (just like the one in Paris, but everyone on this bridge is a couple, and our heroine waiting for her secret admirer, is dressed in evening clothes. You're horrified at the turn of events but what?

Sarah and Ransh have romanced and married! Doesn't that happen at the end of the movie? You are relieved to see Ronit Roy as the father of the bride. All is good and Ransh and Sarah are singing more songs on their honeymoon. And while saying, 'I love you' multiple times and spinning her around, Ransh throws Sarah off a cliff. Yes. You choke over your coffee as you watch her fall in slow motion.

It's still not intermission and while you are scratching your head wondering why the hero threw the heroine as if he were at a hammer throw Olympic event, you see another PYT tattooing Ransh's name on her back. Ransh is now chasing after the rich daughter of a super-rich dad who sponsors car races.

Poor debut by Mustafa who is so callow a performer you laugh each time he has a dialog to deliver. He's been groomed to be star: knows how to dance, know how to pose, has abs, funky hair, strange designer shirts...But no acting chops and a weird voice that is pre-puberty. Is it his fault? Maybe. Maybe not.

But the twists in the plot are just beginning. Of course, the heroine isn't dead, but more people die (Dalip Tahil for one), we are introduced to the concept of movie: where a child is treated sternly and so strictly, that he turns into a 'machine' without feelings. Woah! Creepy psycho dad is... But no, that's a twist in the tale is so hilarious you stop eating popcorn for fear of choking. You see a mansion with a secret safe filled with dollar bills. Money that belongs to the heroine. She calmly sets the money on fire before you can say Pablo Escobar.

Oh, there are a couple more songs, one of them is a recreated hit 'Tu cheez badi hai mast'. But the end is excruciating. If you thought Amitabh Bachchan had mastered the art of dying slowly on screen, you are in for a surprise. The hero, stabbed by Commando (don't ask!) is so muscled in the pectoral region, he is barely bleeding, So he confesses to the heroine that he realised he has a heart (he can hear his heart beating ever since he has been stabbed, he says!) and then jumps off the cliff in a slowest of slo-mos you have seen in cinema. And as his life flashes before his eyes, you hear the cheesiest of lines he has said to the now bawling heroine: I will smudge the lipstick, but not let the kohl in your eyes smudge, ever. Some wisecrack heckles: waterproof mascara!

You wonder why so much money and effort was wasted in making a weird film in the name of romance where the ultimate love nest is 'a house with no doors and windows and we two are locked in it for ever!'
Critic: Manisha Lakhe
 1 out of 5 (Poor) 1 out of 5 (Poor)  

WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good

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