27 years, 17 films, launch of potential stars, Abbas-Mustan have done it all. From Shah Rukh Khan’s career-defining Baazigar to Akshay Kumar’s first commercial success Khiladi, the duo have always left their mark.
By making a film like Machine, they have proved that they don’t care what filmgoers will make of this film. Machine is the kind of film the director-duo would have got away in the 90s. Or maybe not. Even the squelchiest of plots need some acting chops and charisma: none of the young people, including the debutant Burmawla, is in possession of these crucial ingredients that makes a star.
From the very first frame, Machine challenges your intellect and defeats you in the exercise. There is an unmistakable humour that runs through Machine; it begins right from the opening scene. Imagine an opening frame that shows a camera aiming at an eardrum all along taking us through the maze of its insides.
College boy Ransh (Mustafa) meets rich father Balraj Thapar’s (Ronit Roy) emotionally weak daughter Sarah (Kiara Advani). They fall in love and get married, but don’t live happily ever after.
Later, the directors take Machine to another level, literally, when you see human beings defy gravity, wafting through the air like a feather before hitting the ground or hanging aloft pine trees without them even bending as much when birds perch on them.
Half a dozen people get killed for reasons best known to the directors. Somehow they thought they would be able to connect the dots and make Machine a coherent story. Alas, that doesn’t happen and Machine becomes as discreet as its opening credit, which shows a camera entering a human ear and reaching heart through abstractly imagined ear canal.
The mystery of why it’s called Machine is revealed only in the last few interminable minutes. After a frolicsome outing on their honeymoon, Ransh throws Sarah off the cliff and thus begins a sordid tale of suspicion, distrust, obsession, greed and treachery. What unfolds before you are many scenes from Baazigar that give you a sense of déjà vu, and from then on the film is on its downhill. Johnny Lever acts as a policeman here, and other characters also appear and disappear as the writing hinges on the so-called star charisma of Mustafa. And that is the major drawback that makes Abbas-Mustan’s Machine a trite overwritten drama.
This machine has been put together without any manual and starts falling apart as soon as it is turned on.
Machine business in single screens on Tuesday is less than that on Monday. Machine fared very poorly as this was outdated films. Daily Collections are as follows:
Day 1 – 0.55 Cr
Day 2 – 0.50 Cr
Day 3 – 0.65 Cr
Day 4 – 0.40 Cr
Day 5 – 0.35 Cr
Total – 2.45 Cr