Movie review: Get on this cab


Taxi no. 9 2 11(Comedy)

Cast: John Abraham, Sameera Reddy and Nana Patekar

Director: Milan Luthria

Showing at Jai Nepal

It’s once more back to ground zero, where we left Mumbai Nagaria ruined in the mayhem of moral lepers. Of course, we’ve been warned over and over again about how the city stands as a charade of civilisation complete with its tinsel glitter. And though, what Johnny Walker told decades ago still resounds fresh in our minds, we never stop getting lured for its lethal charms. Nevertheless, the original panorama of the city still lies in its variety, the anomalies that stare hard through the gleaming windows and stench-filled ghettos. But then, the sheer irony of it all, those that are smitten still don’t quit living a nightmare!

Sanjay Dutt recounts the story in bits and pieces of the two denizens, who inhabit the different worlds the city embodies. Sacked out after a foray into almost a score of jobs, Raghu (Nana Patekar) finally decides to make ends meet driving a taxi with a fancy number-plate 9 2 11. He is eccentric to the core, has a tempestuous temper and never thinks twice about venting his spleen on anyone. He doesn’t mind driving whores and even recommend on customers to take. But he has a softer side too, when it’s time to get home, to make love to his lady, after parking his taxi surreptitiously two kilometres away from what they suppose to be home (the wife doesn’t know that her hubby drives a taxi, instead of being an insurance agent!).

There’s then Jay (John Abraham), the spoilt scion and the heir-apparent to the unthinkable fortune of Mittal (?). He loves driving costly cars and throwing pricey parties for his friends and sports a girl-friend (Sameera Reddy), who’s waiting for the defunct father’s will to turn her (!) into a millionaire. These men from two different worlds would never have met. But, the quirk of fate can switch buttons to make almost anything happen.

After Jay’s car breaks down in a drunken accident, he has no other alternative

other than to hire a cab to the court that would finally decide his future. Unfortunately, the taxi happens to be that of the notoriously nuts Nana.

One more accident in the atrocious streets of Mumbai and it turns their lives topsy-turvy. The strangers turn into vicious adversaries, relentlessly on the lookout to bushwhack the other. And the rat race continues wreaking havoc on the lives of both. The flick glides breezily to the climax that has a message to put forward.

Though the initial impression remains that of a comedy with not much to tax the mind, the screenplay deserves all the praise for playing the message part in a no-nonsense manner. Firebrand Nana seems slowly but surely emerging out of the mould of typecast roles. And that perhaps really seems to hold him in good stead. Even the Bollywood Casanova, seems capable of more than flexing his muscles for his smitten fans. Club scenes, with Sameera bursting in the skin-tight skirts more than compensates for the ogle quotient, though it would seem she deserves much better.

Altogether it’s a fine film.