Posted On Sunday, July 01, 2012 at 08:20:43 AM
Recounting the years when the city equated encounter specialists with messiahs, Maximum focuses on two of the ilk who loved to hate each other more than they loved murdering a common enemy. The premise holds much promise and the protagonists are allowed a delicious range with real life stories to draw from. But the film fails at many levels.
Maximum’s problems start right up front. You have no idea where the story is heading because there is no crisis created, no path or goal imagined. Too many close-ups early on disengage viewers from getting their bearings.
The dialogue is often and unnecessarily cryptic and the decision to cut the movie in a non-linear manner muddles the story and doesn’t help matters. Not exactly wise choices when your main characters are straight talking cops.
Director Kabeer Kaushik uses all sorts of tricks to keep us hooked: an animated sequence, a Shakespeare soliloquy by the sea, 26/11 documentary footage… but instead of enriching the narrative, it serves merely to distract. And for a film about two policemen practically competing against each other in notching up encounter kills, Maximum is too much conversation, and too little action.
Even though it was nice to see dance bars in a film after a long time, there is an overdose of it. The Hindi version of the Tamil Aa Ante item song is just plain awful. Here is a line: “Main hoon atom bomb, Aa ja kare tara rum pom pom.”
Ultimately, Maximum fails because of poor craft. Flatly-lit cinematography, often unintentionally out-of-focus, pathetic audio design (example: sounds of tennis balls being hit and bouncing on a squash court!) and an overall lack of cohesiveness between scenes are its undoing.
Naseeruddin Shah is shortchanged in this role that looks as if it were written with someone else in mind. Sonu Sood continues to look like a young Amitabh Bachchan but his interpretation of being a ‘grey’ character is merely being flat with his delivery. He’s a better actor than this. Amit Sadh brings some cheer though, as the unassuming reporter who follows the story of the cops from beginning to end.
There’s nothing maximum about Maximum. If anything, it should’ve been called Average.