Till the 'multiplex culture' came to India, a majority of Hindi movies packed multiple stories in those three hours. The stories were connected to one another and would culminate into one climax. But, of late, diverse stories are packed in those two hours. These stories run parallel, but have one common end.
In 2007 itself, SALAAM-E-ISHQ and HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT. LTD. tackled six stories at one go. Director Milan Luthria treads a similar path as he handles three parallel stories in HATTRICK, using cricket as the setting.
HATTRICK is pretty much like the sensex. The graph of the film is erratic. It goes up and down at regular intervals. There are interesting moments in the film, especially in the first hour, but the film stagnates just when you think everything is going fine.
The dilemma of the characters is well depicted. Nana's khadus nature [no smile, no emotion, he's completely detached from the simple pleasures of life], Danny's cricket addiction [it's cricket and only cricket for him], Kunal and Rimi's rocky relationship [since the wife is attracted to cricketer Dhoni] and Paresh Rawal's stubborn attitude [dreams of acquiring the British citizenship] seems straight out of life. All this is fine till the intermission card flashes on screen.
But things take a dip in the second hour. After you've tightened the seat belt and are ready for take-off, you are suddenly told that the aircraft is grounded. Matlab, after an easy-on-your-senses first hour, you expect a certain culmination to the stories, but what you receive is not what you desire.
Fine, Milan Luthria has executed a number of sequences with panache, but the film is not as invigorating in totality. Problem? The writing lacks the meat in the second hour. And that takes the film a few notches down.
All said, HATTRICK isn't great cinema. It isn't bad either. It floats in between. It's plain average!
HATTRICK is the story of five chaotic charactersâ€¦
The caustic Dr. Satyajeet Chavan [Nana Patekar] hates everything good in life, especially cricket. David Abraham [Danny Denzongpa], a veteran cricketer, is obsessed with cricket. David falls ill and is admitted to the government hospital. That's where Dr. Satyajeet and David meet.
On the other side of the planet, London, is Hemu Patel [Paresh Rawal]. A janitor, a cricket maniac and an illegal immigrant! His single pre-occupation in life is acquiring a U.K. citizenship. He longs to return home from U.K. after years of fooling himself that he's happy living a second-rate life in a foreign land.
Saby [Kunal Kapoor] is a cricket addict, so much so that his television set is better company than his seductive wife Kashmira [Rimi Sen]. The problem begins when Kashmira gets obsessed with Dhoni.
In HATTRICK, the three stories proceed simultaneously. The Nana-Danny nok-jhonk at regular intervals or Paresh's stubborn attitude or Kunal-Rimi's blow-hot-blow-cold relationship is beautifully depicted. In fact, the humor in the first half compels you to flex your facial muscles quite often. But the film faces roadblocks thanks to the half-baked screenplay [Rajat Aroraa].
Nana's decision to go that extra mile and organize a mock World Cup match is so far-fetched that it takes this episode far from realityâ€¦ Kunal and Rimi's unstable relationship is back on track without any heart-to-heart talk between the two of them. Kunal's striptease in the end looks amateurish tooâ€¦ Paresh's track is straight out of life, but the writing loses its balance as it reaches its culmination. Why does the English officer have a change of heart?
Milan Luthria's direction is satisfactory, but it's the writing that acts as a spoke in the wheel. Pritam's music is strictly okay. You watch the songs on the big screen without exhibiting any emotion, but forget all about them once the movie ends. 'Wicket Bacha' is the only track that stands out, partly due to its zany filming. Cinematography [Nirmal Jani] is lucid.
The performances are up to the mark. Nana carries his part with precision. There're certain roles he excels in and this is one of those. Danny is extremely likable. All you want to ask the veteran is, Where have you been all this while? Paresh gets a serious role this time and the actor proves his versatility yet again.
Kunal Kapoor is highly competent. He has the potential to make it big! Rimi springs a pleasant surprise this time around. She's efficient. The actors enacting the role of Paresh's wife and daughter are first-rate. Pratiksha Lonkar [Nana's wife] gets minimal scope.
On the whole, HATTRICK is an average product at best. At the box-office, it won't score a century, nor will it be clean bowled at the start. It would somewhere be in the half-century range.