Crakk – Jeetegaa… toh Jiyegaa! Movie Review: Vidyut Jammwal’s actioner is ‘all work and no play’

Crakk – Jeetegaa… toh Jiyegaa! Movie Review: Vidyut Jammwal’s actioner is ‘all work and no play’

Starring Arjun Rampal, Nora Fatehi, the action-thriller lacks any thrills
Rating:(2 / 5)

There are two types of audiences watching Vidyut Jammwal’s Sidharth Dixit rise to victory in Crakk – Jeetegaa… to Jiyegaa! One, operating within the film, cheering for him as he takes part in multiple races and overcomes the challenges with flamboyance. The other type is sitting cautious in the theatre, without any expectations. The former will stop at nothing to keep its protagonist’s spirit high. One among them is Jamie Lever, who is given some whacky one-liners maybe to allay the irritability of the theatre audience. Towards the end, during an intense chase sequence where Sidharth and Dev (Arjun Rampal) are running for their lives with time bombs fitted on their arms, she says, “Bam in par lagaya hai, par fat meri rahi hai (The bomb is on them but I am the one getting scared)”. Through all of this, the film tries to evoke tension but is unable to. It did, however, incite some reaction in the theatre, unfortunately the ones that the makers won't be proud of.

With the story going nowhere although scenes shifting from one picturesque location in Europe to another and the emotions of brotherhood being too outdated to connect with, one can't really blame the audience for being detached to the tale. Sidharth, aka Sid, aka Sidhu laments the death of his brother Nihal, who went to participate in an extreme sports competition called ‘Maidaan’ and never returned. Sidhu’s dream in life is to qualify for the deadly competition himself and achieve what his brother could not. For this, he fights with his Commonwealth-medal-winning father and says that all he wants in life is loads of money and a home in a tower from where he can appreciate the sunset. Vidyut plays Sidhu with a certain charm as he jumps atop a running train and cycles his way through the city. When he is not doing that, he graces the Mumbaiyaa slang and tries his best to emote. The action he does never feels indulgent or designed just to show him sway in the best way possible. At the same time, it is never thrilling and hardly makes up for the missteps in the screenplay.

Directed by: Aditya Dutt

Starring: Vidyut Jammwal, Arjun Rampal, Nora Fatehi, Amy Jackson, Ankit Mohan, Bijay Anand and Jamie Lever

Be it the laid-back attempt to tie-up loose ends, or the way how warring characters turn into friends, the emotional beats of the story don’t land as smoothly as Vidyut does after a somersault. Arjun Rampal as Dev is just sufficient but remains short of creating the kind of menace that is needed for a character like his. It’s not on him, the screenplay isn’t enough to bring out his demons.

The only demon that lays itself bare is the screenplay. It makes the scenes fizzle out midway and finds haphazard outcomes that leave you more confused. There are some gripping moments in the film whenever the races in the competition take shape. The film’s structure is interspersed with three races where each one eliminates some participants, eerily similar to Fear Factor. Seeing it unfold just confirms our theories.

Amy Jackson’s character Patricia Novak speaks Hindi in a highly European accent and reasons it out by saying she knows 13 languages. She is after Dev for a nuclear weapons deal that he is facilitating. I lost it completely when Sidhu tells Patricia that he doesn’t care about the nuclear weapon and all he wants to know is who killed his brother. Sibling love one, mass destruction zero.

Aagaya hero, ab bajegi seeti (Blow your whistles for the hero is here),” says Jamie Lever at one point. This excitement operating within the film is more awkward than arousing. Scenes that are meant to be serious end up hitting the wrong note. Through all of this, though, the film is not entirely unwatchable. Writer-director Aditya Datt tries his best to keep things interesting but it is not enough. The final clash between Dev and Sidhu is being recorded by a cameraman with a mini tripod. Dev snatches the tripod and starts hitting Sidhu continuously. That’s what it was all about then: the camera at the wrong place at the wrong time. Well shot, perhaps?

Cinema Express