Director: Kabeer Kaushik
Producer(s): Vainteya Films
Writer(s): Kabeer Kaushik
Cast: Sonu Sood, Naseeruddin Shah, Vinay Pathak, Amit Sadh, Mohan Agashe, Neha Dhupia, Swanand Kirkire, Rajendra Gupta
Music: Amjad Nadeem, Devi Shri Prasad
Rating: * * *
Plot: Encounter specialist Pratap Pandit (Sonu Sood) has climbed the ladder of success much quicker than his senior counterpart Arun Inamdar (Naseeruddin Shah). This has ignited a fire of jealousy inside Inamdar who starts using unfair tactics, including the misuse of people in power, to bring Pandit’s successful world crashing down. Who will bite the dust in the end? It is said that the film is based on a true story of encounter cop Pradeep Sharma.
Review: Director Kabeer Kaushik made a successful debut with his well written, engaging cop drama Sehar (2005). Maximum, his second venture also does justice to the same genre. But unlike his debut flick, this one turns out to be only for the admirers of the serious cinema courtesy a slow narrative and a lack of commercial value.
Kaushik has given a lot of onus on realism with respect to the conversation between the characters and live locations. Deliberately the sub plots are kept incomplete on few occasions without proper focus in the narrative. This works well in presenting a real-to-life picture but it will surely put-off the entertainment-hungry crowd. Naseeruddin Shah’s entry surely adds more life to the proceedings.
Thankfully, the rivalry between the two cops isn’t highlighted with this use of those clichéd dialogues where one character tries to rubbish off the other. Instead, it is nicely woven in the narrative. The proceedings are interrupted due to the forced item number ‘Aa Ante Amlapuram’. But the interval point nicely takes the story forward.
The post-interval portion has a good number of interesting incidents but after a point of time, the narrative becomes dreary. A number of scenes having some unnecessary dry discussions between few characters are largely responsible for this. But lastly, the way the final twist is presented is deceiving even though it doesn’t appear surprising. This leads on to a climax which, although not impressive, is quite descent. But one has to say that the plot could have used better in creating more thrill and drama.
Due to the nature of the subject, there isn’t any scope for songs. ‘Aa Ante Amlapuram’ is the only track that is actually used from the album. But it would have been better if the original south Indian song had been retained as the lyrics of the Hindi version appear juvenile. Krishna Ramanan’s camerawork suits the nature of the flick. The live location scenes, mostly involving local trains, are well shot. A particular background tune (Daniel B George) which appears throughout the film adds good effect to the narrative. The editing (Lionel Fernandes) is simple.
With this performance, Sonu Sood yet again proves his acting prowess. He lives the character of a tough cop perfectly with proper dialogue delivery and portrayal of different emotions. Naseeruddin Shah gives an honest performance. Although his fans would expect him to be more expressive but the nature of his character was such that he had to speak more through the eyes and expressions. Vinay Pathak gives an earnest performance as a north Indian politician.
Amit Sadh, in the role of a journalist, surprises with a mature act. He deserves more films. Neha Dhupia does well but her character doesn’t have much to do except mouth those age-old lines expected from a middle class Indian housewife. Mohan Agashe leaves a mark while Arya Babbar is strictly okay. Lyricist Swanand Kirkire makes his acting debut and surprisingly does well! The supporting cast including Rajendra Gupta, Murli Sharma, Ujjwal Chopra are likable.
Overall, Maximum is an interesting cop drama but the treatment makes it watchable only for a niche section of the audience. This fact coupled with a very low publicity makes sure it has no chance at the box-office.