Movie Review: GAME (2011)
Usually when I’m watching Indian movies, I try to see them from the perspective of a universal movie goer and not someone who’s grown up watching Indian films. Only because the audience of Bollywood are usually very forgiving of–let’s say–the more craptastic elements of some films. In accordance to that standard, GAME is a movie that I would definitely recommend to non South Asian friends, as it’s greatly polished and very slick. The story is intricate and pays a lot of attention to detail and is very far from being predictable. GAME is a great action thriller entertainer, however–I’m very reluctant to add– for an Indian film.
Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars
I’ll have to tread carefully, as the slightest misstep can give away a lot of plot point. GAME is a film is exactly what it sounds. It’s a thriller with some very unsavoury characters who all get caught up in a situation of complete and utter deception, backstabbing and even deeper motivations that aren’t revealed until the last frame. The direction is superb as I’ve rarely seen so many elements juggled with seemingly perfect execution and complete and utter surprise. It’s a ‘whodunit’ in every sense of the word. A treat from the typical action film from Bollywood that doesn’t feel necessary to explain every trivial thing but everything necessary to figure out the plot is embedded within the film itself from scene 1.
GAME is the story of a powerful man and his devotion to getting revenge for an injustice done to him. Towards this end, he invites 4 unscrupulous people to his own private island (yea, he’s that rich) to set the whole film into motion, by promising each of them a solution to their problems. We’re introduced to each of the 4 major players of the film in very visually stunning ways. Abhishek Bachchan is a suave and manipulative casino owner/drug peddler who’s in some deep shit with Columbians. Boman Irani is a corrupt politician with money troubles. Shahana Goswami as a troubled crime reporter. And lastly, Jimmy Shergill as a famous Bollywood actor who’s got a very dark past. As they’re brought together, the rich dude, played to perfection by Anupam Kher accuses them all of, in one way or another, being responsible for the tragedy that has befallen him. He threatens to turn over evidence of their crimes to the authorities the next morning. However, before that point… he’s killed.
Everyone on the island apparently all have perfect alibis, and the 4 who are all suspected by the detective in charge, again played to perfection by Kangana Ranaut are released due to lack of evidence… but are closely watched by her. This starts a game of cat and mouse as bodies start dropping, people’s motivations and identities are questioned. GAME is a mixture of great action and suspense not to mention a plethora of great dialogues done by non other than Farhan Akhter himself. Anyways… enough praising the damn thing.
The performances are top notch. Everyone fulfils their respective roles with complete perfection. Seriously, everyone was awesome in this movie. Abhishek, as always, did a great job as the anti hero in every sense of the word. Initially a criminal who ends up essentially being the guy who drives the story forward as we go. Kangana Ranaut was awesome as the detective tracking down each suspect and uncovering their stories as she goes. Her completely de-glamorized and professional look was refreshing for an Indian film. I think she wore the same outfit the entire damn movie. That kind of character driven comittement is rare in Bollywood where outfits are based on current fashion trends instead of relevancy to the character or story. Anupam Kher was great in both his brief appearances.
GAME was a great film, a little unnecessarily complicated for the sake of being complicated, but great nonetheless. There were some story elements that could’ve been taken out such as Abhishek’s character’s twist halfway through. All in all GAME was a great film with near perfect execution; a classic mystery thriller that excites from beginning to end.