Few actors get back in the reckoning with ease and élan, or are able to recreate the magic they were known for.
It was thus with great anxious concern and misgivings that I went to see Risk, directed by another Ram Gopal Varma protégé Vishram Sawant, who also made D earlier.
The film, which has Randeep Hooda play a self-righteous inspector, also marks the return of Vindod Khanna. Undoubtedly, the actor proves to be the surprise package in Risk.
For Khanna, who appeared in some forgettable films in between – Leela, Dhaal, Pehchaan – this film could well earn him the lost ground which on two occasions deprived him of top honors.
Acting, for some, may be, a tad, difficult. Particularly for those, who don’t take their job seriously and are most likely to lose patience and forget lines to deliver on the dot. Or lack the passion that once made them go for it with a vengeance.
Not Khanna though. In Risk, as the underworld don, Khalid, who operates from Bangkok and virtually rules the organized crime scenario in India, he is riveting, enunciating every dialogue with the right punch.
And he is successful in making an impact, despite an ill-conceived and rather incomplete description of his role.
He doesn’t even get those heavy duty dialogues which helps many Bollywood actors earn the audience votes as well as the critic's applause.
What makes him stand out also is the restrained gaze in some scenes or the angry outburst in others, enacted with unemotional clam. In every scene that he appears in, he makes his presence.
As the don who wants to have absolute monopoly over the underworld and decides to use the police inspector (Randeep Hooda) Suryakant to settle scores with his arch rival, Khanna’s restlessness is palpable. He wants to have things his way buy hook or by crook and would not have ‘No’ for an answer.
Even in the climax, where he confronts the police inspector, his cool dude demeanor is notable.
And to think he’d been nursing a secret desire to get back to screen but with no takers to cast him appropriately. Perhaps his contemporary and one –time rival Amitabh Bachchan was too surefire a bet for producers to back the Big B and overlook Khanna.
Apart from Khanna's brilliant performance, Risk turns out to be a predictable fare and the much exploited done to death Mumbai underworld theme giving viewers a sense of déjà vu. What some producers, would definitely realize is where they have faltered. For after this great looking actor’s re-entry, they must be kicking themselves for not giving him a chance earlier?
If he could salvage an average film from going into complete anonymity, he could well be a part of a script where the demand for acting prowess raises the bar to another level altogether. Welcome back macho man.