Chor Nikal ke Bhaga Movie Review: Yami Gautam, Sunny Kaushal have fun in a campy and self-aware ride
The film has consistently good performances, and it is fun to see the actors play off each other
There is something about Yami. Even when she plays a one-note character saying mundane lines, one can't help but wonder if she has a trick up her sleeve. Even when she does something horrific, one can't help but wonder if it is just a smokescreen to reveal in the last act that it was all for the greater good. Basically... there is something about Yami, and it is this facet that director Ajay Singh uses to the hilt in Netflix's latest release, Chor Nikal ke Bhaga.
Cast: Yami Gautam, Sunny Kaushal, Sharad Kelkar
Director: Ajay Singh
The cold open of Chor Nikal ke Bhaga has a bloodied Ankit (Sunny Kaushal) getting fed up with answering questions about his involvement in a crime. We move back and forth in time to realise that Ankit's day job involves him not getting punched up in the nose but as an insurer of diamonds. Yami's Neha Grover, an airhostess, has a sordid past, but her present involves being wooed by a smooth-talking Ankit, who makes her feel that not just diamonds but diamond insurers could also be a woman's best friend... and more. These nuggets of information about the lives of Ankit and Neha are interspersed between a hijack and a heist, which is happening 40000 ft inside a Delhi-bound flight.
Ankit and Neha are forced to steal some diamonds from a passenger in their flight, but their foolproof plans go haywire when a group of people decides to hijack the plane with ulterior motives that are as straightforward as it comes. There is a bit of baiting that happens here, which plays to stereotypes and feels like a misdirected choice. However, the premise is fantastical, as it makes the audience decide between the lesser of two crimes. Of course, the writers (Amar Kaushik, Siraj Ahmed, and Trishant Srivastava) nudge us towards one option, but soon enough, Chor Nikal ke Bhaga has a freefall into Abbas Mustan territory where nothing is what it seems, double-crossing is second nature to everyone, and of course... there is more than one proverbial twist in the tale.
The film has consistently good performances, and it is fun to see the actors play off each other. There is a plot involving a home minister, and the way it is dealt with is so whimsical that it put a smile on my face. It showed that the writers knew there isn't much they can do with it, but went ahead with it because...they wanted to. Such daring randomness is seen on more than one occasion, especially when Ankit tries to steal the diamonds even when gun-wielding hijackers were repeatedly punching his nose. It is fun to see his doggedness to find a way to reach the loot away from the prying eyes of his fellow passengers, who might have thought he was going to do something stupid... yet brave to save them from their predicament.
In an interesting narrative choice, Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga doesn't really bother wasting time on the other passengers and their lives as is common with films of this genre. Instead of focusing on the back stories of the passengers, and wringing out our allegiance for them, the makers decide to just say the stories of Neha and Ankit, and it actually helps us swim the tide along with them. Yami is having a stellar spree of films that has allowed her to explore her calibre. Chor Nikal ke Bhaga is an interesting addition to the list, and it is impressive how Yami finds a way to play the game of variety with every successive film.
At the outset, this film might be a high-flying tale of a heist and a hijack, but its core is as desi as it gets, and that is the strength of Chor Nikal ke Bhaga. In this rather fun 110-minute ride, the devil is not in the details... but in the title itself, and it is almost like a racy and classy British novel decided to remove its mask to reveal a more campy page-turner one might have picked up from a small-town railway station in India. And for a filmmaker and team with such brazen confidence, saat khoon, a hijack and a heist can be maaf-ed only.