It’s no secret – the fact that The Killer is a remake of Collateral, the 2004 film starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, is acknowledged by the directors of this one themselves. They should have been as honest to themselves about their choice of lead actor too. Jamie Foxx is an Oscar winner, and won a nomination for his role in Collateral too. The only way Emraan Hashmi is ever likely to win an Oscar is if they were awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.
Aside of a disastrous choice of a lead actor for a film that revolves primarily around performances, The Killer suffers from other problems as well. For starters, the plot is too non-Bollywood. There is no role for a heroine, making this a film like Taxi 9 2 11 or Ajnabee – for niche, urban, multiplex audiences. Then, there is not much in terms of comedy. And finally, there are no big names in the cast. There are practically no Hindi films that have become hits in India in ages without any of these these three elements.
Then, people go to an Emraan Hashmi film for a purpose. And here he doesn’t, er, meet expectations. All you are left with then is his acting. It is like switching on FTV to watch the clothes.
Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi) is a night-time cab-driver in Dubai, and falls in love with a nightclub-dancer Riya (Nisha Kothari), who takes his cab each night. This period of brief romance lasts about 20 minutes in the beginning, and is as mushy as a DSL modem. Then, Vikram (Irfaan Khan) hails Nikhil’s cab, and strikes up a lively conversation with all the banter that film villians seem to be able to nudge out of their bad side.
Yes, Vikram is a contract killer, and has 5 murders scheduled for the night – 5 people who are planning to testify against a big underworld don and who has hired Vikram to exterminate them. He engages Nikhil for all the night, but after his second killing, the body lands on the bonnet of the cab from a highrise’s window, and Nikhil realizes who Vikram is. It’s too late, though, since Vikram will not let him go now.
Nikhil is scared, but as the night progresses and he sees a good man shot in front of his eyes, and then his own friend, a petrol pump attendant, turning collateral damage, a kind of recklessness sets in, and he starts to slowly take the killer on.
There’s not much to speak in appraisal of a film which is just a rip-off of a highly successful Hollywood blockbuster (Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise won several awards for it). Irfaan Khan is impressive, and some lines are well-written, but the lines are mostly out of the original. The movie doesn’t really bore you anywhere, but then it has only 2 primary characters who occupy 90% of screen-time, and one of them can’t act, which will not help make this a blockbuster.
The film is likely to have just a nominal run in India, and much lesser in Hyderabad where Hindi films anyway run for lesser periods than in the West and the North. Like we said, this one won’t bore you, but you are unlikely to recommend it.