Movie Review: Rajdhani Express
Director: Ashok Kohli
Cast: Leander Paes, Jimmy Shergill, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sadhanshu Pandey
Sometimes there are so many things wrong with a film that it doesn’t even make sense pointing them out. Rajdhani Express is abundant with such moments that show you how a film is not supposed to be made. They might be lessons in disguise for an aspiring filmmaker but the general public is better off maintaining distance.
Basically set in a running train, the story of this particular socio-political experiment revolves around four people who are sharing a compartment. The focus, however, is on a guy (Leander Paes) a kind of misfit due to his underprivileged background. He’s supposed to personify the gap between the haves and the haves-not but his role is so scattered and unstable that it is self-defeating. On top of that, the comical adventure that follows between these co-passengers — alongside several other weird characters on board — doesn’t hold ground. At all!
The dots don’t connect and the loose ends shamelessly stare at you. Apparently, somebody must have thought that the screenplay is the least important aspect of filmmaking. Perhaps even the best of performances couldn’t have saved the day! To make things worse, even the dialogues are dumbed down and border on hollow clichés. Background score isn’t engaging either, nor is the cinematography. Though the film begins with a loud constitutional call for an ideal world, it has nothing new to offer in that direction.
Coming back to performance, Leander ‘acts’ far better on tennis courts. Here, he had only one somebody-just-slapped-me expression throughout. Priyanshu Chatterjee’s Bong act is almost convincing while Sudhanshu Pandey passes off as a fashion designer with a confusing sexual orientation. Jimmy Shergill comfortably continued with his A Wednesday cop persona. Gulshan Grover as the self-righteous ticket examiner is irritating at times. Puja Bose displays a spark and Sayali Bhagat hams beautifully.
If good motives alone never made good movies, then we better not try to gauge the motive behind this film. By that logic, Rajdhani Express can easily lay claim to be one of the worst films of 2013.