Movie Review: 'Shortcut Romeo'

If a film is turning out to be more horrible than intended, the least its makers can do is to keep it short. And cut the audience some pain. However, the irony is clearly lost on those who came up with a title such as 'Shortcut Romeo'. Except for few moments — in fact, very few — this purported thriller is way off the target. All in all, other than one beautiful song, nothing seems to work in director Susi Ganesh’s Bollywood debut.

Ameesha Patel and Neil Nitin Mukesh in 'Shortcut Romeo'
Ameesha Patel and Neil Nitin Mukesh in 'Shortcut Romeo'

The only innovative credit that could be attributed to this awful film is it brings the term ‘blackmail’ back into fashion. After all, when was the last time you heard it in a Hindi film? Furthermore, the entire story keeps yo-yoing between one character’s ability to blackmail the other; but not before weeping a bit here and gloating a bit there. The sheer scale of absurdity that follows such instances substitute as momentum required to call a drama thriller. Yes, there are tiny surprises in the middle but they don’t hold ground for long.

Given his South background, Susi appears more interested in including as many action sequences as possible. Most of them are redundant, over-the-top and hardly contribute anything to the flow. The same is true about the futile song-and-dance routines. In any case, at more than 140 minutes, the screentime is dragged beyond logic. What else can explain a bunch of loafers spending somebody else’s money in Kenya (to promote Kenya Airways?) and then literally crying to the protagonist that they want to go back home? Anyway, unconvincing performance is least of our worries here.

Neil Nitin Mukesh, after exhibiting craft in his last few outings, is sorely wasted as a guy who would do anything — other than work — to earn money. None of the two actresses in the lead role inspire much beyond fancy. For someone who was almost flawless in a challenging movie like 'Gadar: Ek Prem Katha', Ameesha Patel resorts to hamming here. Without her makeup, Puja Gupta comes across as a better actress.

It’s hard to believe that they took this endeavour to Cannes when there’s not much to even take home.

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