RUN is a decent film which I do recommend. I'm on an Abhishek Bachchan kick right now, and, so far, I'm feeling fairly good about the movies I've bought and watched starring him. RUN isn't by any means a classic. But you'll have fun with it. RUN is another typical Bollywood film in that it drowns its audience in a deluge of genres. It's a mishmash of Action, Comedy, Romance, Drama, and Musical. It's two and a half hours long, which also seems to be a Bollywood innateness. Due to its cinematic nature and playing length, RUN, like the majority of the Bollywood features I've seen, has its share of high points but also the predictable low points. Obviously, it's challenging to make movies this long and have every minute be a celluloid gem. Run, unfortunately, suffers from its plot being advanced too slowly and also from losing its focus from time to time.
Let's get the basic plot points out of the way: Siddharth (Abhishek Bachchan), nicknamed Sidhu, comes to Delhi to further his studies. In Delhi, he glimpses a hottie by the name of Jhanvi (Bhoomika Chawla) on the bus and promptly falls in love with her. He pursues her diligently but Jhanvi remains cold and persists in rebuffing him. There's a reason. Her brother Ganpat is a big time hooligan who controls a band of thugs. He is jealously possessive of his beautiful sister and viciously hurts anyone who as much as looks at her. Soon enough, Sidhu learns of Ganpat's violent tendencies the hard way. But, then, Sidhu decides to fight back...
As I've mentioned, it's a fun flick. RUN entertained me when it focused on the two lovers in peril. Mahesh Manjrekar as the homicidal Ganpat is scary and obsessive enough that I was on pins and needles as the jeopardy kept elevating for Sidhu and those close to him. Abhishek again works his charm on screen. He's perfectly good as Sidhu, the lovestruck student, and Sidhu, the fighter who can take on all comers. He carries off his fight scenes with an intensity and an effective athleticism. His ceaseless wooing of the icy Jhanvi is certainly fun to watch. On the other hand, Bhoomika Chawla may be nice to look at, but she barely makes a dent with her acting here. It hurts the actress that, for the first half of the film, her character has to put on an aloof, unresponsive act. She does develop a bit more personality in the latter half, but even then, it's piffle. A better acting foil for Abhishek is actually the guy who plays Sidhu's long estranged brother-in-law. In Delhi, Sidhu unwillingly resides in his sister's home, his reluctance stemming from his dislike of his sister's husband. For most of the film, Sidhu and the brother-in-law barely speak to each other. The several scenes depicting their mutual thawing out are some of the best and most touching parts of the film.
RUN does goof up big time in one area. At times, the movie cuts away from the main thrust of the film to follow another story arc. The gravity of Sidhu and Jhanvi's plight is jarringly offset by the "humorous" misadventures of Ganesh, who is also newly arrived to Delhi and seeking his old pal Sidhu. Ganesh is an unlikable git with a skeletal frame and an exasperatingly superior attitude. He maintains his cocky mannerisms even as he is repeatedly taken advantage of by the Delhi residents. At one point, he unwittingly almost ends up starring in a porno flick. The thing of it is, Ganesh and his excruciating "messcapades" aren't really connected to the main story. In fact, Ganesh and Sidhu are only in three (if I counted right) very brief scenes together and, then, off they go their separate ways. I kept thinking this annoying character would at least have something to do with the resolution of the film, but no. I guess Ganesh's presence in the film is intended to provide humor, even as Sidhu and Jhanvi's situation progressively worsens; if so, the attempt at humor abjectly fails. Ganesh sucks.
Also, it's a bit too coincidental that Ganpat's thugs seem to appear out of the woodwork every time Sidhu and Jhanvi are in the same room. But what bugged me, in particular, was the unconvincing rapidity of Sidhu's retaliation to Ganpat's home invasion. If you see this film, you'll know what I mean...
RUN lays down some pretty spiffy fight scenes, although you can still see mega-size holes in the choreography (ie, an opponent catapulting his body backwards as a reaction to Sidhu's kick even before Sidhu actually kicks him; a punch plainly missing its target by a matter of feet, yet the target reacting as if he's been hit anyway). But the zeal in which every participant displays in the fights goes a long way in atoning for the glitches. Abhishek himself does a good job of selling the beatdowns and is physical enough with his moves that I quite bought into his arse-kicking "skills."
There are five songs here, mostly breezy and gently tuneful, with my favorites being "Nahi Hona Nahi Hona," "Zara Zara" and "Dil Mein Hai Jo Bat." If I have to pick a least favorite, it'll probably be "Tere Aane Se Aaye," which seems strange because it's the most energetic song. Go figure. Anyway, while Abhishek's playful personality shines thru on several occasions in this film, it's never more visible on screen than when he's dancing and lip-synching thru the songs, which are inner reflections of the lead characters' hopes and feelings. Bhoomika's very serious Jhanvi also loosens up considerably in these musical numbers.
His career really takes off soon after this film. Just around the corner would be his critically acclaimed performance in Yuva, as well as the big blockbuster hits Dhoom, Bunty aur Babli (2 DVD Set), DUS (2 DVD'S), and Bluffmaster. But as a vehicle for Abhishek Bachchan and an enjoyable movie in its own right, RUN garners three and half stars from me. But that Ganesh dude, he still sucks.