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Movie review: 'Raja Natwarlal'

While Kunal Deshmukh's effort had huge potential, one sadly walks out of the theatre unimpressed by Raja Natwarlal’s antics and this film

Raja Natwarlal
U/A; Crime/ Thriller
Director: Kunal Deshmukh
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Humaima Malick, Paresh Rawal, Deepak Tijori, Kay Kay Menon
Rating: 

The con man has to be always ten steps ahead of his victim, says the lead character of this film, Raja Natwarlal, to himself and his cronies again and again. Wish director Kunal Deshmukh had taken this advice seriously while choosing this script (story and screenplay written by Parvez Shaikh).

Intervew: I was the guy who kissed and didn't give two hoots about it: Emraan

A film with a con artist as the protagonist is expected to be smart, shrewd and yes, ten steps ahead of its audience and his victims. Conning a victim even while keeping the audience on the edge of the seat should be the challenge the con artist should thrive on. But unfortunately, most of Raja’s victims seem to be so dumb that they probably deserved to be conned anyway.


Emraan Hashmi and Humaima Malick in a scene from the film

Raja Natwarlal (Emran Hashmi), a petty crook, leads an adventurous life of cheating people in the daytime and visiting his bar dancer girlfriend Ziya (Humaima Malik) at night. He and his friend Raghav (Deepak Tijori) come across a big con job opportunity involving Rs 80 lakh. Even as they vamoose with the loot, they are not aware of the danger retracing their footsteps. This is when the batshit crazy, oops cricket crazy, don of sorts, Vardha Yadav (KK) comes into the picture. After a tragic incident, Raja plans to take on Vardha with the help of an ex-con artist Yogi (Paresh Rawal) and his team.

While the film has some truly thrilling moments, it also disappoints in many ways. The lazy script makes some situations seem too simplistic and convenient. Things easily fall into place for Natwarlal and if life was so easy, a lot of us would be busy conning each other. A tad more clever screenplay would have made them more challenging for Raja, making his character awe-inspring and a rung above the rest of us.

Emran Hashmi looks and carries himself with just the right amount of cockiness required for a character, who unabashedly makes his living by cheating people. A smarter plot would have helped him more. Paresh Rawal plays self-assured champion fraudster Yogi with a lot of ease. It is KayKay’s Vardha Yadav which was the most disappointing of the lot. He’s saddled with a wig and a dispiriting role of a supposedly highly intelligent but actually laughably dumb character. But in the film’s climax, Kaykay shows what he is actually capable of. Sensuous Humaima Malik makes a lukewarm debut as far as performance is concerned.

This film had huge potential but sadly one walks out of the theatre unimpressed by Raja Natwarlal’s antics and this film.

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