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Race 3: Racing in, racing out - going nowhere

Direction: Remo D’Souza Produced by: Salman Khan Films, TIPS Industries Cast: Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah, Saqib Saleem, Rajesh Sharma Cinematography: Ayananka Bose Music: Salim & Sulaiman Merchant Hindi / Action / 160 mins / India / 2018

Rating: 1 (only for the car show) / 5 Ek Chatur naar, Aiyo ghode teri ek chatur naar…

aiyo ghode teri

O aiyo ghode teri,

O aiyo chatur naar yeh ghodaa

yeh chatura

yeh ghodaa

yeh chatura …

Yeh kya ra ghodaa chatura, ghodaa chatura

ek pe rehna, ya ghoda bolna, ya chatura bolna GAO….

For those not tuned in, these are only some of the chaotic lyrics from the immortal Kishore Kumar-Manna Dey-Mehmood song Ek Chatur Naar set to music by R D Burman, for the 1968 classic Padosan. Believe you me, they describe exactly what’s happening in Race 3. And try as I might, I am unable to find another, more apt analogy.

I sincerely suspect even the director Remo D’Souza lost track of what the screenwriter Shiraz Ahmed was trying to say – there were so many twists in the so called family tale. Someone starts out being a hero, turns a villain, then another one who we (the unsuspecting audience) are led to believe maybe the bad guy is actually the hero and then things change again. In the meanwhile dad may or not be dad, mom may or not be mom, siblings aren’t who they are and cousins are family and foes rolled into one. The men think they are studs, women think they are smart and well – life is one big Race going nowhere - which only confuses things further! Trust me, it exactly boils down to Yeh kya ra ghodaa chatura, ghodaa chatura / ek pe rehna / ya ghoda bolna, ya chatura bolna...

And somewhere midway through the film (if you can call it that) after some of the twists in Race 3 have been and gone, I am beginning to feel a lot like the confused Sunil Dutt urf Bhole in the same song, who has no clue about singing, sur, taal or even the so called lyrics and ever so often ends ups writhing on the bed and singing gibberish led by the inimitable Kishore Kumar in a bid to defeat Mehmood in a singing competition. Believe me, the song makes far more sense and I laughed hard watching it yet again.

Race 3 on the other hand, just leaves me befuddled. I don’t know whose idea it was to bring in Salman Khan but it’s a very bad one. He is an average actor at the best of times and has little to show for his abilities except the beefy body. Race 3 proves that yet again. Anil Kapoor as Shamsher Singh plays dad to Salman (Sikander Singh), Daisy Shah (as Sanjana) and Suraj (Saqib Saleem somebody). Bobby Deol (as Yash) is supposedly Sikander’s bodyguard and confidante! Into the happy family walks in Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez) who plays Sikander and Yash’s girlfriend simultaneously – till they amicably figure out who she wants to be with.