Film Review: Hattrick

Hattrick Film Review

Banner: UTV Motion Pictures

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala

Director: Milan Luthria

Cast: Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal, Danny Denzongpa, Kunal Kapoor and Rimi Sen

Rating: 1.5/5

Cricket and Bollywood are what drives the country and the recent marriage of these two passions delivered a Hattrick. However, one has seen better cricket themed films like Lagaan, Iqbal and even yesteryears films like Kumar Gaurav starrer All Rounder and Aamir Khan starrer Awwal Number can be rated above UTV Motion Pictures’ Hattrick directed by Milan Luthria.

Three parallel un-related stories patched into one movie revolving around the theme of the on-going Cricket World Cup is what one can sum up Hattrick as.

The film fails at the very basic level of the script, which is tied around the theme of cricket. A better story, screenplay and dialogue by Rajat Arora could have worked wonders for this movie.

Using the tournament as a backdrop, Hattrick takes us into the lives of Doctor Satyajeet (Nana Patekar) and David Abraham (Danny Denzongpa); Sarbjeet Singh (Kunal Kapoor) and Kashmira (Rimi Sen) along with Hemu Patel (Paresh Rawal).

Doctor Satyajeet is a no-nonsense doc, who never smiles. He doesn’t even believe in beating around the bush when it comes to telling his patients the truth about their medical condition and is very outright about it. He is also uptight in his personal relationships with his wife and son. Moreover, he detests cricket. Enter David Abraham, an ex-cricketer, who has been admitted to the hospital with a failed kidney. This track is probably the better one amongst the three owing to Patekar and Denzongpa’s performances, which kept viewer interest alive in the movie. This particular plot could have been the focal point of the film and could have been developed further instead of having three un-related tracks.

Patekar delivers with élan and is brilliant as the doctor who everyone hates and is scared of (including his wife and son). Denzongpa, on the other hand, is convincing in his performance too.

However, director Milan Luthria went overboard when he shows ace cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle putting together a cricket World Cup final match from previous match tapes (the Times of India fake front page story included) in order to con David, who refused to be operated upon before the final match was played. Highly unconvincing and over the top.

The second (irritating) track is that of Sarbjeet and Kashmira. Sarbjeet is a die-hard cricket fan and Kashmira is his attention starved wifey. Frustrated with her husband’s all encompassing attention on cricket, she then adopts the "if you can’t beat them, join them" strategy. However, she goes overboard in her passion for none other than Goldilocks of the Indian cricket team – Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This infuses a strong bout of jealousy in Sarbjeet. Things hit rock bottom when the couple separates and even consider divorce. All this hullabaloo for Dhoni! I mean, come on… does Sarbjeet have even an ounce of grey matter up there? And by the way, what does he do for a living? Watch cricket???

Kunal Kapoor looks like he’s never brushed his hair and is shown with sweaty armpits in a bedroom scene (which are ample in their track). Rimi Sen’s performance is nothing extraordinary. By now, one has seen her in the same stereotypical character in all her previous movies. Kapoor is way too irritating and sissy in the movie and looks most disinterested in what he’s doing. One finds it hard to believe that he is the same Kunal Kapoor of Rang De Basanti. A total let down and so very fake.

Cut to act three… Hemu Patel (Paresh Rawal) lives in London with his wife Priya and daughter Natasha. He works as a janitor at the Heathrow Airport but has lied to his pub friends telling them that he is an immigration officer. He’s obsessed with getting a UK citizenship in order to get a better job and subsequently a better lifestyle for him and his family. His story is about transformation from pretense, hypocrisy and faking style to being stylish by acknowledging his strengths. Rawal is strictly okay in the film.

Hemu is willing to go to any extent to get citizenship and even fakes his patriotism for England in front of Mr Cook, in whose hands lies the power to grant (or deny) him his wish. Yet another over the top scene is when, after granting him citizenship, Mr Cook comes to Hemu’s house for a small surprise celebration party planned by Hemu’s wife Priya. Pray tell me how did Priya know of Mr Cook and even get access to him since she never visited him with her husband and moreover does Mr Cook makes it his personal business to attend all such "happy" bashes? Hmmm… I wonder…

Luthria’s last two movies Taxi No. 9211 and Deewaar – Let’s Bring Our Heros Home have been a disappointment at the box office. Ironically, it is with Hattrick, that he seems to have scored a ‘hattrick’ of flops.

Hattrick doesn’t stand a chance at the box office. The film might open well due to the strong marketing hype around the movie built by UTV but will be unable to sustain in the long run. Word of mouth will deter the chances of the film even more. However, UTV has simultaneously premiered the movie on, which will help in raking in the moolah while the iron is still hot.