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Little to raise a smile from poor script; Bollywood.

Byline: Manish Gajjar

SHORTKUT - THE CON IS ON (PG) Rating: DIRECTOR: Neeraj Vora STARRING: Akshaye Khanna, Arshad Warsi, Amrita Rao THE PLOT: Film assistant Shekhar (Akshaye) dreams of becoming a renowned director one day.

Shekhar is in love with popular actress Mansi (Amrita) but her parents are against this relationship because of Shekhar's struggling financial status.

Meanwhile, wannabe junior artist Raju (Arshad) ends up sharing Shekhar's apartment after being thrown out of his rented accommodation. As luck would have it, a conniving Raju manages to steal Shekhar's prized script and is catapulted to superstardom. Shekhar plunges into a phase of self-pity and dejection taking his frustration out on Mansi who eventually leaves him. A shattered Shekhar now looks for that golden opportunity to get even with Raju. What follows is a hilarious tale of con, deceit and subsequent fall as Shekhar teaches Raju a lesson and wins Mansi back.

THE VERDICT: Director Neeraj Vora's Shortkut was supposed to be an all-out comic caper based on the trials and tribulations of two con artists in the Bollywood industry. An interesting plot you might say. But the film does not deliver what it preaches as seen in trailer screenings prior to the movie's release. What is supposed to be a comedy turns out to be a melodrama with few gags in between. Once again it boils down to a poorly-researched script. The plus points of the movie are its colourful dance sequences and melodious musical score. But these do not blend in with the on-screen narration. Instead, they serve as a welcome break to an otherwise boring plot. Veteran comic actor Akshaye Khanna gives his usual best despite the shortcomings of a below average script. Co-star Arshad Warsi gets the best comic lines reminding you once again of his Circuit character from the Munnabhai series of films. Amrita Rao looks gorgeously slim in all her beautiful outfits, especially in the song and dance scenes.

Manish Gajjar is the Bollywood * consultant for VUE Cinemas at Star City - the No.1 choice for Hindi movies in the West Midlands. For tickets or more info call 08712 240 240 or visit
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 17, 2009
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