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WHAT THE FOX!

Tees Maar Khan

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Akshaye Khanna, Raghu Ram Direction: Farah Khan

HAVE you watched Sheila ki jawani yet?" Over the past week, that's the question one has been facing, the reference being not to the song but the film in question. Katrina Kaif's item jig has been such a whopper punch that people have actually started referring to the film by the name of the song. In the history of item numbers, that's a first at least for Bollywood.

There's method in that madness. If Farah Khan has craftily woven her prerelease promo grind around the peddling power of a song, it's probably to hide the fact that she has made her worst film yet. Also, she probably wanted to divert attention from the source material.

Touted as a Shirish Kunder script, Tees Maar Khan is actually a masala remix of Peter Sellers' 1966 heist comedy After The Fox . Farah and gang needn't worry. Chances are her ticket- paying audience hasn't heard of After The Fox and are probably vaguely aware of Peter Sellers. Anyway, Sellers and his iconic director Vittorio De Sica aren't around to claim copyright share, so who's to complain. Ironic, though, that a film about a thief is an instance of theft of story idea.

So, Akshay Kumar has replaced Shah Rukh Khan as the face on Farah's posters. Akshay's playing Tabrez Khan, master thief who operates with his gang of three -- Dollar, Soda and Burger. Of course, there is Katrina too.

She's playing Anya, Tabrez's love interest who has Bollywood dreams.

The high point of the film is meant to be a dodgy heist that Tabrez and company have to pull off. An international smuggler assigns him the job of robbing antiques worth 500 crore from a guarded speeding train.

The sequence is straight out of the Sellers classic, though sexed up with tech tricks and desi gags to suit janta tastes.

Tees Maar Khan starts off as a funny film.

What foxes you is why Farah seems totally out of loop as a storyteller. Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om , brainless as they were, had at least regaled. Tees Maar Khan unfolds a clumsy assortment of jokes that desperately try to be funny and fail.

To add to the problem, the entire cast, playing out comic caricatures, is yelling most of the time. Akshay's Tabrez looks too duh to pull off the smart con jobs he does. Katrina's Anya, barring the one item jig, is plain ludicrous.

Akshaye Khanna as the Bollywood star greedy for an Oscar gives you the odd funny moment but looks seriously bored for most of the time.

vinayak.chakravorty@mailtoday.in

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 25, 2010
Words:463
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