A Potpourri of Vestiges Review
By Murtaza Ali Khan
Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews
By Murtaza Ali Khan
|Saat Uchakkey (2016) - By Sanjeev Sharma|
Saat Uchakkey is a Hindi crime comedy film directed by Sanjeev Sharma. Co-written by Sandeep Saket and Sharma himself, Saat Uchakkey stars an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Manoj Bajpayee, Kay Kay Menon, Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Aditi Sharma, and Anupam Kher. The movie presents the tale of seven small-time criminals living in Old Delhi, often referred to as Delhi 6, and a no nonsense police officer committed to keeping them all on a short leash. The crime comedy genre is somewhat new to Hindi cinema. It is an area often associated with the likes of Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino. But while watching Saat Uchakkey one is likely to be reminded of Guy Ritchie films like RocknRolla (2008) and Snatch (2000) vis-à-vis films of Tarantino or the Coens, for the humor quotient in Saat Uchakkey is far stronger than the quintessential elements of crime.
Saat Uchakkey is easily one of the most entertaining films of the year. A swashbuckling extravaganza, it is a formidable example of how great acting and imaginative direction can combine to elevate an ordinary script to the realm of the extra-ordinary. Here is a rare film that brings together some of the greatest actors in the country together. Just consider a bunch of performers as talented as Manoj Bajpayee, Kay Kay Menon, Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, and Anupam Kher in a single film. The end result is astonishing to say the least. But a weak direction could have easily undermined the acting efforts as we often get to see in contemporary Bollywood films. So credit goes to Sanjeev Sharma for trusting his actors and giving them the much-needed space. And, fortunately for him, the actors don’t let him down.
Before discussing individual performances it is imperative that we first discuss the various other expects of the film. The movie’s USP has to be its racy dialogue that replete with vernacular expletives and double entendres reminds one of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). In the current context it is difficult to imagine that the Censor Board actually passed it. Udta Punjab was a groundbreaking film in this regard as it dared to question the relevance of adhering to obsolete censorship norms in modern India. There is little doubt that films like Saat Uchakkey are benefiting from Udta Punjab’s staunch fight against censorship. Saat Uchakkey has a breath of fresh air to it and it’s perhaps because of the use of dream sequences and magic realism that add another layer to it.
Overall, Saat Uchakkey is an endlessly entertaining film that despite its share of flaws and inconsistencies succeeds in packing a punch. Coming back to the acting, Manoj Bajpayee and Kay Kay Menon are a treat to watch and so are Vijay Raaz and the lovely Aditi Sharma. But it is Annu Kapoor who steals the show with his uber cool madman act. One wonders why Bollywood uses his acting services ever so sparingly. Another actor to watch out for is Jatin Sarna who yet again makes his presence felt in a Bollywood motion picture to follow his remarkable turn in Zeishan Quadri's directorial debut Meeruthiya Gangsters (2015). Saat Uchakkey’s principal cast is well backed up by the supporting actors. The film's depiction of Old Delhi (aka Delhi 6) is quite accurate. The attention to detail is striking and it shows in the dialogues, set design, and characters' mannerisms. Here is a comedy caper that needs to be watched. Highly recommended!
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