Just Prince… Not King
Ratings – * * *
Debutant director Kookie Gulati’s carries out the much needed task of bringing a Hollywood style hi-fi action thriller to India with Prince. The jaw-dropping stunts, sleek approach, mind-blowing cinematography and some explosive action make way for a ride never experienced before in Bollywood. Sadly, like it happens with most of the stylish action flicks in Bollywood, the storytelling and logic take a backseat. Plus, there is this concept of brain-mapping and memory erasing and restoring which looks just too fantasy oriented.
Prince (Vivek Oberoi) is the smartest thief in the world who can steal just anything because of his intelligence and determination. He commits the heftiest theft ever when he steals many kilos of expensive diamonds. Then one day, he wakes up without remembering anything about himself or his past. He realizes that the IGRIP force and a dreaded while collar gangster called Sarang (Isaiah) are after him as he has stolen a valuable coin. A coin which has a dangerous secret hidden in it. Prince then gets to know he has a girlfriend named Maya. But he meets three girls (Neeru Singh, Nandana Sen and Aruna Shields) one after the other who claim to be Maya. Prince must soon unlock all the mysteries because he has just six days left to live.
Kookie Gulati manages to provide some extraordinary scenes. The tone sets off right from the start with the robbery sequence. The story moves very well in the first half as Prince’s confusion, the unusual events he encounters and the regular twists make for an interesting watch. The hardcore stunt scenes and the track Oh Mere Khuda are the highlights in this time. However, it’s always a huge challenge for a writer in such action thrillers to pen an interesting and convincing second half and that’s where the film falters more so because of the run-of-the-mill climax.
Sadly, there are other problems too. It’s important to show high-tech weapons in such movies but you just can’t take the word technology for granted. There’s just too much of cinematic liberty taken in the form of some non-believable gadgets. For instance, the Spiderman trick that Prince uses is just too much. As stated earlier, the brain-mapping issue makes matters worse. There is also this old shoddy thing of not a single bullet hitting the protagonist even though hundreds of rounds are fired on him.
Music director Sachin Gupta is a big saving grace as displays his talent superbly in the songs Oh Mere Khuda, Tere Liye and Kaun Hoon Main. His music is mostly responsible for the publicity the film has gained.
Vivek Oberoi’s performance is the biggest strongpoint of the movie. He carries the aura of the character with ease as does well not only in the action sequences but also displays his vulnerability and confusion with flawlessness. This one is easily amongst his top performances.
Aruna Shields, surprisingly, turns out to be the better of the three ladies. Nandana Sen does well too while Neeru Singh doesn’t get much scope. Debutant Isaiah makes a strong point in the role of a baddie. He deserves more opportunities in the future. Sanjay Kapoor once again proves that he deserves a much higher status in Bollywood. Dalip Tahil and the rest of the supporting cast are fine.
Prince turns out to be a one-time-watch for those who prefer action thrillers. However, we should appreciate the fact that finally someone has dared to tread on this path which can, hopefully, motivate other filmmakers to revive the action genre in Bollywood. Therefore I give 3 to this one. It will have a mammoth task at the box-office. Should do well in the single screens.