Review: GENIUS

Written by  on August 24, 2018 

Not Even Nawazuddin Can Save This Genius

1 star

Mini Review:

A writer/director launches his son in a story that is so old, it was probably written when he was born. The unremarkable lad is made to sing and dance in the most ridiculous situations and then we have to see him as patriotic action hero. Not even Nawazuddin Siddiqui as campy villain can save this terrible, terrible film.

Main Review:

SharmaJi Ka Beta Bechara Nikla…

Anil Sharma’s Gadar still plays to TV audiences and makes
people raise patriotic fists in the air with reruns. But the patriotic
narrative has changed. We have seen Raazi and even Mulk.
But this ‘will die protecting the flag’ style patriotism seems
terribly anachronistic. The story of a bright, young lad from IIT
being chosen to join RAW and then getting to face off a similar
chap gone rogue could have been good. But the story is so
entangled it twists around itself and falls flat on its face.

Utkarsh Sharma is best described as unremarkable. As Vasudev
Shastri, born in Mathura and orphaned during religious riots, they
overdo the Hindu – Krishna – Gita thing during the introduction.
You choke over your coffee when you are told he topped IIT and
the heroine (Ishita Chauhan, quite fetching in the manner of
Hansika Motwani) came second to him. He flirts and she
predictably is angry over three or is it four songs which are shot in
the style of what could be best described as glorified wedding
videos. We know now that the lad cannot dance. Or act like the
lovelorn lad. The music by Himesh Reshammiya is fine, but it
just doesn’t work with the lead pair.

You wonder if the film is going to be all about fantastical claims
about how all scientific discoveries were written in ancient Hindu
texts. Thankfully, the director remembers that he has to get to
the patriotic part and we suddenly see a sanskrit spouting
computer geek shooting guns, fighting ninja style (yes, really!)
and generally becoming a super agent sent off on a super
secret mission.

No Attempt At Logic…

No, we do not laugh when we see Nawazuddin Siddiqui show
up as villain called M.R.S, but we do wonder why is he dressed
like he’s in the Arctics: Woollen trench coats, Woollen scarves,
gloves and hats? But the hero is wearing velvet trench coats
and hoodies and gloves too, so you begin wondering if we are
going to see Polar bears in Lakshadweep (that’s where the
action is). The dialog the campy villain has to spout is all about
hating that ‘Kaalia’ (the dark guy) aka the National Security
Advisor played by Mithun Chakraborty (complete waste of his
talent, you know the role is so rubber-stamp pointless, it could
have been played by anyone used to such roles, from Anjan
Srivastava to Anant Mahadevan). MRS (nopes, they don’t
realise that it is not too macho a name for a villain who wants
to create a mayhem in India) is written like they just got stuck
with the Riddler from Batman. Nawazuddin does not make even
an inch of effort except when he begins to dance in the disco.
You wake up and wonder if the movie could be going somewhere.
But no such luck. There’s awful things like a Rubik’s cube setting
off a bomb (which of course our IIT lad turned RAW agent can fix),
Nawazuddin wearing saffron robes and a beard to pass off as a
sadhu so he can blow up Mathura…

There’s medical stuff that is so mangled you don’t know whether
to laugh or to put it down to suspension of disbelief: the hero has
tinnitus caused by bullet whizzing past his skull, and that is leading
to brain damage and schizophrenia. The spy technology is
laughable too! The heroine unknowingly wears lenses that have a
spy camera that helps hero see whatever she sees and earrings
which have microphones to help him hear what she’s hearing.
You know a man has written this part because she never ever
changes her earrings!

Over two hours and forty minutes they tell us again and again
that the lad is a ‘genius’, when he mostly looks like Mr. Pitiful.        

(this review appears on

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