Producer: Ratan Jain
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Boman Irani, Kangna Ranaut, Sameera Reddy, Mohanlal
When you have the budget (the production value is rich and visible in every frame), a talented and A-list actor and a director who is a brand, you can’t go wrong, right? Still Priyadarshan has managed to make a film that is a total disappointment. In an ironic way, that’s quite a feat!
A thriller must hook the audience from the opening frame and it simply has to be full of surprises to work. But, barring a few scenes which are brilliantly executed, the rest disappoints in Tezz.
The premise of Tezz itself is weak. It is about a bunch of illegal immigrants in London. One of them is deported and returns to take revenge after a few years. So he plants a bomb on a high-speed train and asks for a huge ransom. He wants to scare the UK government, extort money and run away with his family. Since the premise is about illegal immigrants, it is impossible for the audience to connect with the character and empathise with his story. This is the biggest flaw in the film. Also, is it really all that easy to plant a bomb on a high-speed train?
Remember The Burning Train, which also had a bomb planted on board? There’s a scene in The Burning Train where the passengers cross over to a train running parallel by crawling across a makeshift ladder between the two trains. Ditto Tezz. To add more drama, the high-speed railway track has been built by a man whose daughter is inside the burning train. Ditto Tezz. In the latter film, Boman Irani hasn’t built the train but he’s the head of the department and his daughter is travelling on board.
When the film begins to roll, it gives you the impression that you’re about to watch something you’ve never seen in Indian cinema before. The movie does hold till the point where the bomb is planted on the train and Ajay Devgn makes his first threatening call. After that, the film begins to stagnate and slide. You wonder how the illegal immigrants have the money and means to do what they have done. Who is sponsoring them?
There are a few scenes that impress, especially Sameera Reddy’s chase sequence. Though breathtakingly picturised, you are disappointed as your leading man Ajay Devgn is not part of this chase and he does nothing except watch as the chase unfolds. Also, the chase between Anil Kapoor and his cop team and Zayed Khan is brilliantly executed. Kudos to Gareth Millne (action director) and Peter Pedrero (stunt co-ordinator) for executing these fabulous chase scenes. The train sequence has also been shot brilliantly.
Director Priyadarshan has worked very hard on the look of the film and action scenes but he didn’t work hard enough on the screenplay. Though the first half unravels quickly, the editing in the second half is loose. Post-interval, the movie is sluggish and lethargic.
Performance-wise, Ajay Devgn impresses. Once again, he conveys everything through his eyes. The pain and the guilt of not being of any help to his wife and leaving her alone is conveyed very well by him. However, how one wishes he could have had a greater share of the action. Anil Kapoor is terrific. Kangna Ranaut had limited scope but she excels. Sameera Reddy tries hard but fails to deliver. Mohanlal could have had more to do. Boman Irani is good. Mallika Sherawat succeeds in wooing the audience in the item song.
Verdict: A few brilliantly picturised chase sequences cannot salvage an entire film. The movie will find it tough to survive at the ticket counter.