Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga review: Yami Gautam steals the show, Sunny Kaushal struggles in a tricky hostage drama
Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga review: Yami Gautam truly nails her part and shines in every frame she appears in.
The benchmark that Sonam Kapoor-starrer Neerja set for a hijack drama is too high to be matched, and that's why whenever I watch a hijack-hostage film, I can't help but draw comparisons. Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga starring Yami Gautam and Sunny Kaushal is no different and yes, you end up comparing it with Neerja in terms of the technicalities, the way hijackers behave and understanding their motive to be able to decode the plot. Does it reach that level, not really. But is it bad, of course not!
Directed by Ajay Singh, Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga may not be too high on content, but it definitely keeps you hooked and intrigued till the very last minute. It does blend quite a few elements of a Hindi commercial film where the hero fights the bad guys, the girl gets injured and heartbroken, cop is clever and knows it all but can't beat the protagonist, the supporting cast gets enough space to perform albeit they vanish immediately once their role is over. There are some easy giveaways when things seem pretty predictable but when the actual story unfolds, you are taken by surprise and thankfully it's not a case of too little too late.
The heist thriller begins with Ankit Sethi (Kaushal), badly injured with a broken nose, being questioned by the cops about the flight that was hijacked. Then comes flight attendant Neha Grover (Gautam) recalling her first meeting with Ankit and getting flashbacks of their romance. Upon learning that Ankit has to repay a huge debt of ₹20 crore, the couple plans to steal diamonds worth ₹120 crore being smuggled on a flight, but things don't go as per their plan when the plane gets hijacked. How do they deal with these uninvited guests 40,000 feet in the air? Do they finally manage to steal the diamonds? Or is there more to their plan which even they don't know of?
A little less than two hours, Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga never seems too lengthy or stretched. It's only after the curtain falls and you start dissecting it, do you realise there were actually too many questions left answered. Nevertheless, I liked how Singh captures the tension in the plane when passengers are in a state of panic though at some places, hijackers appear to be a bit undertrained for the job and end up looking messy. There are three people credited for the writing -- Shiraz Ahmed, Amar Kaushik and Raj Kumar Gupta -- but you never feel that punch in any of the dialogues. Even if the actors are doing their job well, their lines are just passable. At places where the writing falters, Singh's clever direction takes over and you overlook minor loose ends. Gianni Giannelli's cinematography is intense and the mid-air shots of the plane both from outside and inside add to the chaos. Charu Thakkar ensures a crisp editing and even though she joins some pieces here and there, they don't look abrupt in the final film.
Glad to see the female actor's part written quite well and fleshed out in a script that mostly has male characters. Gautam truly nails her part and shines in every frame she appears in. With a lot of layers and shades to her character, she's confident and carries a swag which is hard to miss. In vulnerable scenes, her emotions look real and controlled, while in parts where she puts on her full-on sassy avatar, she goes all out and looks equally convincing. Kaushal compliments her well but in his standalone performance, he is just about good, not great. He still has a lot to work on in terms of his screen presence. At places, he just goes overboard while next moment, he just seems uninterested in what's happening around. onscreen romance may have played a crucial role in taking the story forward but don't expect any sparks in terms of their chemistry for it's just there for the sake of it.
Indraneil Sengupta as flight marshal Sushandhu Roy is wasted and could have so much more to offer to the script and story on a whole. He does his part in whatever little screen time he gets, but his part turns out to be the most half-baked. Sharad Kelkar as RAW Deputy Shaikh is as always a delight to watch. That gravitas in his voice and the ease with which he plays a part is once again on-point and he doesn't disappoint. I really wish makers had kept more of him in the film, especially when he is questioning all the passengers and staff after the hijack is over.
Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga entertains you, keeps you glued to your screens with a lot of suspense and build up and ends with a climax which maybe you saw coming but the way it turns out is interesting and worth one-time watch. The film is now streaming on Netflix.