Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cricket's Gambhir Problem

Not many might have missed last week's drama erupted over Gautam Gambhir's run-in with what seemed like the entire Australian team but Watson and Katich in particular. To be honest it was highly entertaining and adrenaline pumping to see an Indian dishing out the stuff at the same rate as he was getting it, all the while not losing his cool and going on to make a superb and counterattacking 200. The sight of Watson mimicking to obstruct Gambhir and removing his hand at the last moment only to get back the same with interest only seconds later brought a smile to my face. But things as they stand now, he is all set to miss the fourth test at Nagpur following the 1 test ban on him by match referee Broad.

I am personally not a big fan of the Sreesanth, Harbhajan or for that matter Zaheer's brand of aggression. Seeing Sreesanth beating the groung with his hands in T20 was probably as irritating for me as it would have been for Hayden (ok, exaggeration). In the same tournament Harbhajan could be seen mouthing (if not shouting hoarse"F*** South Africa" after the match was over and no matter how much we kid ourselves about "maa ki" most in our hearts know what Bhajji said to Mr. Symonds in that Sydney test. Zaheer too could have easily avoided some needless show of aggro in the World Cup finals that actually hampered his own rhythmn. Also it is embarrassing to see Zaheer mouth of some niceties to Englishmen only to see them giggling to themselves because they just don't get what he is saying!!

These are all cases of people not sticking to their game but that was not the case with Gambhir. Gambhir is a naturally aggressive player (almost to a fault), infact Mike Hussey compared him to Justin Langer as a plucky character on field despite the size (he went on to add that Gambhir looks to pick fights with opposition). Also unlike the current crop of Indian cricketers he is pretty comfortable with the English language, I suspect that's where the trouble lies. Gambhir not only understood the abuses that the Australians were hurling at him but true to his aggressive nature started giving the same back to them and boy were'nt the Aussies cheesed off !

It does'nt take a lip reader to decipher Gambhir's words of wisdom directed at Simon Katich and company. But they were no more than what was being hurled at him that day. The fact that Refree Broad found such sort of a atmosphere on the field acceptable is baffling! Yes it's true that Gambhir let the moment have the better of him, but frankly I would love to see the reaction of certain Aussies under a similar type of verbal assault. If Mr Katich is anything to go by, being called a "F***ing Cheat" almost got him to trade blows with Gambhir but for Clarke's intervention.

Which brings us to the issue of defining assault on a player. Is ICC as a cricket body so rigid on keeping such a distinction between verbal and physical assault? Fans will recollect a scene where Glen Mc Grath lost his cool in a verbal duel with Ramnaresh Sarwan and spat just next to batsman to vent his anger. Now the by ICC standards, such an incident went unpunished!! Imagine the humiliation and anger that Sarwan had to swallow to continue from there on and concentrate on his job of scoring runs, Gambhir unlike Sarwan did not think he had to cope with such trash and gave it back to Watson who was continuously needling him prior to the elbow gesture.

It was also surprising how ICC when punishing Gambhir used the phrase "Cricket is no-contact sport" while the match umpires Bowden and Rauf did not report the Katich incident under the same clause! Just like Gambhir unsuccessfully disguised his elbowing of Watson on the pretext of taking a run, Katich too was faking to have lost balance and leaning on Gambhir so as to prevent the single. True it did not hurt Gambhir nor was it meant to but it could have resulted in Laxman getting run out. I am pretty sure Aussies would have appealed for it despite Katich's tactics. Why was then Katich condoned off a similar charge ? He was clearly touching Gambhir when he had no business to and then did not have the spirit to take a few words from Gambhir on the chin.

Ishant Sharma admitted in an interview that when Brett Lee called him a "cowboy" for swinging his bat at the fast bowler he had to go to Sachin Tendulkar and ask him the meaning of the word cowboy!! Ishant's candid admission is just a reflection of India's new crop of players who are coming from Meerut, Kerala, Haryana , Najafgarh and of course Ranchi. What do you expect from these players when faced with a barrage of abuses from a team they have grown up admiring? They sooner or later will retort back and retort they will with the way they have grown up playing, where personal abuses are as bad a punch in the stomach. That's the way it is, it's India for godssake! Now why should their retort be treated any differently to the means Aussies employ under the garb of "tough but fair" cricket. They have every right to be offended by these words as Aussies are offended by Gambhir's actions. How ICC is justified in treating one party's grievance as authentic by fining Watson only 10 % Match fees and banning Gambhir!

It's ironic that at a time Gilchrist is harping in his book on the fascinating difference in cultures between India and Australia, his team and ICC are bent on painting one culture as unsporting and ugly while letting the other thrive as it's tough but fair.


  1. This piece is too short to mention the various on field ugly banter the Aussies have been involved in, sparing no one from West Indies to England, will compile them sometime later.

  2. Meanwhile Aussies are upset that Gambhir has been charged with a Level 2 offence (they wanted Level 3),

  3. Watson had pleaded not guilty to any provocation at the hearing where Gambhir pleaded guilty and was handed the one match ban (fair if seen as stand alone case of repeated physical contact, earlier being with Afridi)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight

Movie:The Dark Knight

Genre: Action,Drama,Thriller,Superhero,All time great

Cast:Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart

Running Time: 152 min (approx.)

Rating: *****

"Do I look like a guy with a plan??"

"I think you and I are destined to do this forever"

The Joker

Two lines from a character who has probably created more hype prior to the release of the movie than seen in recent times. The Joker, played by Heath Ledger in this continuation of the Batman story is a character that is a balancing act, utmost treacherous. A little less and you take away the freakiness that Joker brings to the table, a little more and you get branded as the guy who messed it up. But, if you are blessed enough you walk that tightrope and make the character your own ;you get to portray this monster of a person given some of the "awsomest" lines and production values that set the standards. At the same time you must've crossed the Almighty for not living to see the day when the world is going crazy raving about the performance that is billed to bag an Oscar. Watching the Joker crashing parties and mob meetings, looting banks and doing everything and anything to bring Gothan on it's knees all the time smacking his lips and asking the question "Why so serious??" is as eerie a cinematic villain as any and more so if compared to other superhero movies.This villain knows no reason, has no motive and cannot be threatened with anything. All he wants is the world to join him in breaking all rules and let chaos take over; which he believes is the fairest way to live. Alfred the butler describes him the best when he says "Some people just want to see the world burn"

Enough about the Joker, let's talk about the movie (though it is hard to separate the two coz Joker is the movie). The Dark Knight takes off where Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins had ended. But The Dark Knight is a movie that is an experience in itself and you really do not need to know the first part to understand this one, apart from the sporadic appearances of the antagonist from the first part. Christian Bale takes up the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman and looks a lot more confident and assured from the first part, his small team played by stalwarts Michael Caine (as Alfred Pennyworth) and Morgan Freeman(Lucius Fox) are back too accompanied by the Gary Oldman playing Lt. Gordon. Maggie Gyllenhall replaces Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Wayne's love interest. All of them seem to fall in place except for Maggie who's quite "thanda" really. But in a master stroke Nolan brings in Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, the goody two shoes DA in the city of crime. Eckhart puts in a performance that really sets you up for the contrast and fall he suffers at the end.

The action scenes and set pieces are awe inspiring to say the least, Nolan makes the batman a creature of the night by letting him loose in the skies of Hong Kong and the streets of Gotham. Watching Batman leap of a skyscraper his cape spread is a jaw dropper, only beaten by a smartly thought and brilliantly executed car/truck/batmobile scene. Some of the scenes of the movie have been shot on an IMAX camera supposed to give a 3-D ish effect if seen on a IMAX screen. People in Mumbai or places where such screens are available are well advised to view the movie there, I saw it on a normal 70 mm and was blown away.

The story is tight and tense, and despite being 150 minute movie, it has enough gas to keep you hooked. Background score is amazing and keeps the tone of the movie sombre yet escalates when required, in fact the score that plays just before the end when Lt. Gordon is giving a mini speech as to why Batman is The Dark Knight is super cool and will surely make your hair stand while you are leaving your seat.

Writing on this movie is actually equivalent to spoiling a lot of fun for people who haven't yet seen it, though that number is going to be pretty small. The subtexts in the movie are also awesome and some of the lines from the movie regarding chaos, anarchy and chance warrant a discussion for themselves. There is also the issue of avenging evil without becoming it.But I shall leave that all for later. Right now I shall end with two big thumbs up for the movie and a strong strong recommendation for you all to catch it. I give the movie 5 out of 5 stars because I believe there is no other rating that can convey the message "Watch it all costs on the big screen (IMAX if possible)"

Before I finish another gem of a line from the Joker in the movie

"You know what I am, Harvey? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one"

PS: The post was delayed due to various reasons ranging from some unexpected work and to some unexpected travel, but mainly because I wanted to watch this one twice before writing this one

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nacho Libre

Movie : Nacho Libre
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Jack Black
Director: Jared Hess
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: *** and 1/2

"I am I am, I am I am

I think I am I think I am

I'm glad I am

I'm proud I am

A real religious man"

Opening lines from a delightful track by Mr Loco mark the opening of this film as it shows a young Jack Black (an orphan staying in a monastery) stealing pieces of clothing to stitch together a dream costume for himself as a Luchador (Mexican Wrestler) named Nacho, only to be caught by the monastery people and given a bath to cleanse him of his "unholy" desire. That sets the tone for the rest of the movie, underplayed but rib tickling humour.

Nacho grows up to become a friar in the monastery cooking bland food for the orphans and secretly sketching away the costume designs for his unfulfilled dream. All changes when he sees an open contest inviting tag teams to wrestle. Nacho teams up with a street beggar named Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez) who had once robbed him of food. The hilarious duo are quite a sight with Nacho a short, fat guy with the Esqueleto the beggar- tall, thin and unkempt taking on the well oiled Luchadors and getting beaten up.

Back in the monastery Nacho finds his heart beating for Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera) who calls him "brother" and gently reprimands him for entertaining thoughts of becoming a Luchador. Watch Nacho attempt to woo the sister with his "expensive clothes" and his "strong body" in trademark Jack Black style, it's hilarious.
(PS: forgive me lord but the nun is beautiful, probably the most striking actress from Mexico after the days of Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz)

Amidst all this the story moves forward with some of the funniest jokes being played out on the screen. True, some of the gags are pretty common and in your face, but most of the humour is situational like the scene where Nacho fights with his tag team partner, the beggar who says "I don't believe in God, I believe in Saaince (read Science)" and baptizing him just before the match against "Satan's Cavemen". Sample this line from the movie:
"Nacho:I'm not listening to you! You only believe in Science. That's probably why we never win!
Esqueleto: We never win because you are fat! "
The fights themselves are a riot where this rag tag team loses all matches but wins peoples' hearts.

The story has the usual underdog coming on top theme, but Jack Black and the ensemble cast laces it with such unassuming humour that you will always keep smiling but never quite burst into a rapture. For instance, when Nacho tells the senior priest that he has been robbed of the chips the priest asks him with a deadpan face - "Did you not tell him that they were the Lord's chips? " or the poem Nacho writes when he is out in the wilderness:

"I ate some bugs.

I ate some grass.

I used my hand.

To wipe my tears"

I still don't know whether it is safe to so highly recommend such a movie because in essence it is Stupid, all of it, from Nacho's accent to some of the bathroom jokes, yet I laughed for most part of the movie and would'nt mind watching it again (which is more than I can say for any comedy I've seen recently). Jack Black has produced the movie and I see no other person who would take on such a role with such passion and belief, watch him riding his "bike", it's priceless .The director Jared Hess is known for his previous comedy Napolean Dynamite, which I've heard is fantastic and better than this one. Well, after watching this I can't wait to watch that one.
Final words - go out and rent the DVD, in all probability you should laugh away the evening, but if you hate it, then I think you believe in movie making as a Saaince.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Honda Stunner

Have a look at the Honda Stunner, Honda's latest offering in the 125 cc segment. Unveiled at the 2008 Expo, the bike finally takes form. The bike features a front cowl that is hard to miss, what sets is apart is the fact that it is fully integrated with the fuel tank. The split seats add to the sporty nature of the bike.

Honda has provided another first with front and rear tubeless tyres in a 125 cc bike. The bike weighs 129 kg and comes with a 10 litre fuel tank.

CBF stunner features telescopic front fork suspension at the front and 3 step spring loaded hydraulic shock absorber at the rear.

For the first time in 125cc segment a bike comes with tubeless tyres at the front and the rear. CBF stunner comes with 80/100 tubeless tyre at the front and 90/100 wider tubeless tyre at the rear.

The 17″ alloy at the front and rear adds sporty character to the bike.
CBF Stunner will be avaiable in three variants - self disc alloy,self drum alloy and kick drum alloy. Self disc alloy and self drum alloy will be available in four colours sports red, pearl sports yellow,space silver metallic and black while kick drum will be available in two colours - sports red and black. CBF Stunner will hit the market in 3rd week of july

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Movie : Hancock

Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman

Genre: Superhero/Comedy

Director: Peter Berg

Running Time (Approx): 90 min

Rating: ** and 1/2


Do you believe in the saying "All's well that ends well" ? Well if you do then there is a pretty strong chance that you shall leave the screen after watching the latest Will Smith flick Hancock disappointed. But then if you are a believer of "Well begun half done" then you wont have much to complain from this one.

The movie starts of delightfully with Will Smith essaying the role of a Super Hero(?) gone wrong with characteristic pizazz. The movie has such an interesting premise to start with that first 30 minutes are a riot. It's been a while since Hollywood explored the other side of such characters, the last I remember is the Hollow Man where Kevin Bacon plays an invisible man with absolutely no intentions of saving the world and instead becomes a murderous Peeping Tom. Though not as dark (and much funnier) Hancock is a delight when it is breaking the mould set by the previous summer hits and ironically falls flat when it looks to provide reason to the proceedings.

Hancock takes the help of an Image consultant Ray Emburey (Jason Bateman) to repair the damage his previous acts of "heroics" have caused. Here he meets his wife Mary (the beautiful Charlize Theron). Things improve as Hancock saves the day by foiling a bank robbery after serving time in prison. Everything is fine now but Hancock has fallen for the wife of the man to whom he owes his new life. The movie could have gone anywhere from here on, but the script takes a zany turn and we are instead treated to a sub-plot that is best suited for bed-time stories for kids. Hancock is a short movie approx 90 odd minutes of running time, but even still the last half an hour makes you feel the shortage of content the makers had with them. The bizarre ending, lack of a super-villain and the crazy crazy storyline combine to spoil the taste of a delicious looking movie.

I was watching an interview where Will Smith was answering a question on possible sequels to Hancock. He seemed pretty kicked about it (first black Superhero and all, if you leave Wesley Snipes Blade). So obvious is the maker's intentions about making a series out of this one that it is actually the reason the movie falters at the end.

Still it's a July 4, Will Smith starring, action laden, big-budget flick that has enough ammo to keep you engaged. The special effects are good, not overdone and more importantly easy to understand (remember the so-confusing Transformers?). But Thank God for Will Smith, without him the movie would have been a non starter. Watching him doing the "his head up your ass" act in prison is kickass enough to sustain you for the rest of the movie.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Match- The Man

Let me clarify at the onset that I'm a Federer fan. For me he represents a lot more than 12 grand slams, record No.1 weeks, 5 consecutive Wimbledons etc etc. To me he is the man who can wield a tennis racquet almost as an extension of his free will, the angles that he creates on court are a mere reflection of the purity of the thought process in his mind.

So it was with great anticipation (and a little fear I admit) that I sat down to watch the Wimbledon finals 2008. Nadal had not just entered the finals beating the other players, he had demolished them. If you'd seen his quarter final match against Murray, you could have seen the sheer dent Murray's morale underwent. In his own words he later said "He was playing too well probably for me. His forehand was ridiculous. You know, he's hitting the ball so close to the line, so hard, that it was difficult for me to get into a rhythm. I felt rushed on every point. "

That's what Federer was against, a man who was hitting the ball harder, covering the court faster and doing both more consistently than was ever seen on the tennis court. But then it was the Wimbledon, a place where Federer elevates to a level next to the Almighty himself. A place where his strokes flow as freely as the Rhine down the Alps and more importantly the place where he has had the better of an otherwise constant thorn in flesh Nadal.

15 minutes into the match and Nadal broke Federer. The fear that was present at the start of the match became a knot in the stomach. Some booming serves and beautiful passes were not enough as Nadal held onto that break to wrap up the first set 6-4. Never mind,I thought, Federer has seen a 6-0 victory in the first set become a four set loss in the french open finals in 2006, he knows there is a lot of tennis left in the match.

15 minutes into the second set and all Federer fans were grinning ear to ear, 4-1 up the script was finally falling into place, except Nadal had some other plans. Refusing to buckle under the pressure he hurried the Swiss from one tight corner to another and broke back into the set. He then added to Fed's misery by breaking him once again to sew the set at 6-4. I sat open-mouthed, swinging from anger to irritation. Why the hell did he have to rush to the net so often? Why was he avoiding the slice when caught in a corner? The commentator added salt to the wounds by saying, "It's almost like Federer has an inferiority complex against Nadal". Not like this, I thought in my head, not like this.

Amidst rain delays and and concerns of light conditions the third set began. Federer did not commit the unforced errors at the same rate as the earlier sets and revved up the service games to take the set to a tie-break. Tie-breaks, a place where Federer would back himself to win, and win he did taking the match to a fourth set. Can he still...a voice asked in my head? nah.. he's left himself too much to do ... and no one should win a match after that horrendous 2nd set the mind said, half in anger rest in the inevitability of it all.

By now the game was becoming a boxing match without gloves, Nadal was hitting the ball with a laser like accuracy while the Swiss continued to crank up the magic with shots that only he could pull off. In such a setting where the level of tennis was reaching to unseen magnitude, Federer took the set to the tie-break again. Would you believe it?? Yes!! C'mon now take it easy.. finish the set. Wait.. what's that scoreline showing? Fed 2-5 down? Nadal serving for the match? NO...not yet. And of all miracles Nadal got nervous as if these thoughts were going through his head too. The double fault that Nadal did at this juncture eventually cost him the set. Though he got some C'ship points during the tie-break, that double fault gave Fedrer the foot in the door that Nadal was slamming on his face, and keeping his poise he took the tie-break 10-8.

Phew... Always knew Fed would do it, the mind said half guilty for doubting the man, half mad with joy.

The momentum was firmly with Federer and when he held his serve in the fifth set, for the first time in the match it was Nadal who had to do the catch-up act. At 2-2 deuce rain held up play, though many people saw it as interruption, it was almost like God taking some time off to calm his nerves, resettle in his seat and refocus on what his creations were creating on Centre Court. Divine tennis.

The set progressed but with that one thing kept becoming increasingly clear, Federer was not going to break Nadal (and this time there was no tie-break to bail him out). No matter how many glorious passes and deft volleys, Nadal was not cracking up under the pressure of the fifth set and the momentum factor. I think it had a lot to do with his previous experience at Grand Slam Finals and also with the fact that he has beaten Federer many times to know he is mortal.

And mortal he was, after exhibiting some of the most beautiful and gutsy tennis the King lost his serve in the 15th game and we had Nadal serving for the match. Soon enough it was 40-15 and with two C'ship points for Nadal, the show was all but over. Or was it? Serving for the match Nadal served big and wide tucking Fed in a corner, one could almost see the tame return thudding in the net or becoming fodder a for a forehand ripper from Nadal. Instead Fed's returned the serve with a scathing yet beautiful trademark cross court backhand (You could see for end number of times and not get tired) that left even the ever ready Nadal short of ground. 40-30!! 1 more point now Fed... Nadal will crack .... something will give in..!

There are contests and there are contests, but there was something about the setting at Centre Court, the level of tennis that we had witnessed, the legacy of this modern-day rivalry and the prize at stake that made the last scene of the battle so poignant. True, the champion lost, but not before delighting us all with a sublime show. Fall he did, to his own errors that were too many and at times unbecoming (How can he explain that second set ??!!) and to a man who was in prime shape, playing some of the most ruthless tennis coupled with a resolve that was as strong as those bulging biceps and more importantly a man who made the less mistakes.

As the evening turned into night an overjoyed Nadal celebrated a well deserved win, the King packed his bags. There was a frown on my face, will he do a Borg? Has he accepted in his heart that Nadal is too tricky an opponent and one who is learning faster for him to tame. Will he hang his shoes in the emotional aftermath of what was singularly the most draining match that he had contested? Luckily for all, he left the stadium with a warm congratulatory message for Nadal and a promise to return and reclaim something he holds very dear. Not many might have noticed, but the way he pointed at the trophy while mentioning it was almost akin to a kid who has just lent his favourite toy to another friend and is waiting for the day he gets the chance to snatch it back.

So is Nadal the new champion, the better tennis player, the deserving No.1 ? Well, ATP rankings show him only 585 points behind Federer which means he has a theoretic chance that of becoming No.1 before the US open. Many people think it is an unfair system wherein a performer like Nadal is lagging behind someone he is beating with amazing frequency. There is also talk that in his heart Fed knows he his not No.1 anymore.

Well despite all that I can say without any doubt that Federer is still the best player in the world today, heck he is the best we'll ever see probably. I'll even say he was the better player in the finals. Even in the loss he was only 5 points behind Nadal for the entire match. Keeping the points apart the kind of tennis he put on show was what was largely responsible for taking the match to those dizzying heights. Nadal fans will smile and nod their heads thinking it is the usual rant of a Fed fan. While I totally agree that Nadal made less mistakes during the course of the match, he also kept his head about when the match reached those tense final moments where he was serving after Federer to stay in the match. Some of the winners that he hit were the usually unthinkable and unplayable types, but that's about it. He is a damn good athlete who is in the prime of his game which is as effective as it is unconventional. But is'nt that true for guys like Uthappa, Yousuf Pathan, Gautam Gambhir? Then why is that amidst all these newcomers, it is a Rohit Sharma everyone is seeing as the new No.4 in tests, a position that we have given to a God of our own.

It might sound like trite and also harsh on Nadal, who does not have to prove anything to anyone. He is a deserving champion and very soon could be the official No.1. But just as Nadal does not have to prove anything neither does Federer need anyone's stamp of approval to certify him as the best player in the world. He was , is , and in all probability will remain the greatest man to take up the game. Believe that or take a walk.
'I lost the last two finals, close finals. But he's [Roger Federer] still the number one. He's still the best. He's still five time champion here. Right now I have one, so for me it's a very, very important day.'
Rafael Nadal after winning his first Wimbledon title.
'Rafa's a deserving champion. He just played fantastically... It's been a joy again to play here. A pity I couldn't win it under the circumstances but I'll be back next year.'
Five times Wimbledon champion and this year's losing finalist Federer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sarkar Raj

Movie: Sarkar Raj
Cast: The Bachchans, Mario Puzo(?)
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Genre: Political/Family Drama
Rating: *** and 1/2

It is a little late in the day, but definitely deserving some blogspace ;the Sarkar Raj review

Now we know what Amitabh Bachchan was doing when all the media was asking him to reply to Raj Thackeray's diatribe. He was filming Sarkar Raj. The movie is as much a sequel to the popular first part as it is a cinematic reply to all the commotion that had surrounded Mr Bachchan in the last few months.

The movie begins 3 years hence from the first one. Shankar Nagre (Abhishek Bachchan) has stepped into his father's shoes all too comfortably, he is married, Maharashtra has a new CM and Sarkar has just turned 60. In steps Aishwarya Rai, with an idea that has the Nagre's divided. A power plant that will solve the state's power problems while displacing the residents of ahem Thackerwadi.

Shankar convinces his dad and embarks on a trans thackerwadi tour with the pretty miss. Along the way he gives her gyan about power, money and change(impressing her but really putting the rest of us off). Oppposing him is a be-spectacled, clean shaven, kurta pyjama clad wannabe politico (the director adds the red gamcha to leave no room for doubt).

Soon the heat is on the Nagre's who find that opening the plant involves a lot more than good intentions. Like the first part, a host of shady characters descend on the screen all wanting a piece of the pie. Or is it?

To the movies' credit it packs in enough tricks and twists in the plot to keep you hooked. The background score is a little loud for comfort but has it's roots in the amazing "Govinda" track from the first part. The actor's are too seasoned to botch up and both the Bachchans(male) pick up from where they left in the first part. Aishwarya has to look surprised/impressed/scared throughout the movie, the real waste is Supriya Pathak who should perhaps be paid the most for simply accepting to feature in the movie. The bad guys are many and easily forgettable, not one character sticks in your mind after the movie. But for the uncanny resemblance to real life characters this aspect of the movie lacks bite.

So does the movie work?

Surprisingly Yes, simply coz of the script, the legacy of the first part and the father-son combo who deliver. The direction is tight barring a few scenes like the unseen assasin(right out of a horror movie), and the climax which almost drags it's feet before suddenly realizing it is the climax !! and exploding.

If you liked the first part there is more than a fair chance that you will walk away satisfied if not gleefully anticipating the third installment..... (who'll star next Hrithik?... Neil Nitin Mukesh anyone?)