By Shone Satheesh Babu
An hour into Maximum, and many soaring panoramic shots of a celluloid Mumbai later, we don’t care if the movie even possesses a plot. All we want to know is how Bollywood managed to foist yet another encounter-specialist dram-o-rama on unsuspecting folks, without even a show of originality. A journalist (Amit Sadh), two encounter cops (Naseeruddin Shah and Sonu Sood), and a politician (Vinay Pathak) form the unholy quartet in this neo-noir thriller. Set in the Mumbai of the early noughties, in which encounter cops go on an unbidden killing spree, Maximum borrows heavily from Ab Tak Chhappan. The saga of betrayal and backstabbing inMaximum is not new, but an attempt at realism, especially with the dialogue, makes things a little less obvious. Peddling intensity as creative expression is old hat, and Shah hams it up, gnawing at his words as if not needing them at all. The murkiness of each protagonist is rinsed, literally, till their grisly ends. The title of director Kabeer Kaushik’s earlier film,Sehar, was adopted from a poem by Faiz. In Maximum, we have a protagonist muttering a nursery rhyme and even enunciating the word ‘maximum’, so we register the ‘profound’ implications of the film’s title. Just in case we hadn’t noticed.
Shone Satheesh Babu is an Assistant Copy Editor with Tehelka.