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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Review: Hattrick

Hattrick (drama) **1/2
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Rimi Sen, Kunal Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Danny Dengzongpa
Direction: Milan Luthria
The first cricket movie to cash in on the World Cup fever and this one is a No Ball or simply an overthrow that misses the wicket by quite a distance.
Firstly, what's cricket doing in it, other than being a silly point (read reference point) in two of the story tracks. In the first, it becomes almost the cause of a marriage break-up and in the second, it becomes the rallying point in a cut-and-dried hospital run by a khadoos doctor.
In the third story, it's so very iffy — a weapon of reverse racism — that you might as well just let it be.
And secondly, what should have been a sweet little comedy ends up being a series of episodes that completely sidetrack the laughter track. Sad, because Milan Luthria is actually a director who prefers to tell a different story.
But all's not awry with this Hattrick which does manage to score a few brownie points in the performance department. All the lead characters are breezy and lovable. If Kunal Kapoor is the effervescent cricket-obsessed husband who becomes a cricket basher when he discovers his wife has a crush on Dhoni, then wife Rimi is both oomphy and dishy as the newly-wed who fantasises about Dhoni in bed.
Danny makes a delightful comeback as the ex-cricketer staring death in its face with the strength of his cricket fervour and Nana is Nana: acerbic, unsmiling and yet, intensely humane. As for Paresh Rawal as the desi trapped in racist London, the Gujju act has become kid's play for him by now. A bit more of fun and games (cricket, of course) and the film might just have been that googly at the cash-starved box office.

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