Short Kut – The Con is On

Till quite some time back, remaking a successful film was considered a safe bet. In fact, the most reliable, foolproof way at hitting paydirt. But let’s not forget, not all stories have the potential to strike gold. SHORT KUT, a remake of the Malayalam film UDAYANANU THANAM, written by Anees Bazmee and directed by Neeraj Vora, arrives a bit too late. Actually, it should’ve hit the screens a couple of years ago. That’s because it abounds and relies completely on cliches and which, in turn, makes you break into a big yawn. Sad, since the basic story of SHORT KUT had the potential to keep your attention arrested. It even starts off well, but runs out of breath soon after. In fact, the graph of the film only goes down as reel after reel unfolds.
Seriously, you want to ask something vital to Anees Bazmee and Neeraj Vora, who have penned, even directed laughathons successfully: What kind of cinema is this? Did Bazmee and Vora lose interest while writing this one? Or did they decide to take the viewer for granted?  In short, SHORT KUT is meant to be a comedy, but is actually a tragedy for the viewers. Set in Bollywood, SHORT KUT – THE CON IS ON tells the story of two strugglers, one who makes it big as a superstar [Raju – Arshad Warsi] after stealing a script and the other whose struggle as a director [Shekhar – Akshaye Khanna] continues after his script gets stolen. There’s a twist in the tale when reigning actress Mansi’s [Amrita Rao] romantic involvement with Shekhar gets culminated into marriage. To add to the chaos, destiny again brings Raju and Shekhar face to face, when Shekhar is set to direct his first film with Raju. What follows now is a clash of egos. As mentioned at the very outset, SHORT KUT could’ve turned out to be an insider’s view on the film industry. The two aspirants, their struggles, the hardships that they face to get their first break… SHORT KUT could’ve explored all that and more beautifully. In fact, a few moments do try to capture that at the very start. But the moment the romantic track sets in, things go for a toss. The plot, suddenly, makes you feel you’re watching a diluted version of ABHIMAAN [Amitabh, Jaya]. Then, suddenly, another unexciting track surfaces — of the superstar throwing his weight on the sets. The film starts losing grip.  The post-interval portions are simply unbearable. You expect things to brighten up, but the writing is so pathetic and the climax so childish and absurd that you’re shocked. Looks like the writers must’ve gone on a vacation and entrusted the responsibility of writing the climax to some amateur types who has zilch knowledge of screen writing. It’s the worst climax undoubtedly! Director Neeraj Vora gets its wrong completely. The writing as also the execution are archaic and outdated. Mr. Vora, which era do you belong to? As for cinematography, the DoP tries hard to make the bad product look enticing. Musically, nothing to hum about. Akshaye Khanna puts up a sincere act, but what can the best of actors do when saddled with shoddy scripts? Arshad gets better lines, also gets a role that the masses would take to instantaneously, but he’s getting typecast. Amrita Rao exposes her anatomy freely. Chunky Pandey manages to make you smile at places. Ali Asgar looks fake. Haider Ali is alright. Siddharth Randeria is theatrical.
On the whole, SHORT KUT – THE CON IS ON is a poor show all the way. A major disappointment.

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