What do you do when a country, culture and their purveyors wrong you irreparably? You plant a bomb in a speeding train and hold the Establishment to ransom.
Taking a cue from Hollywood's most watched bomb-maro-bomb rush-hour excursions into plunder-land Tezz springs forward a nicely-packaged expertly-cut he-dunnit. And that's a very different genre from the whodunit. Here we know Ajay Devgn is the closet terrorist. But since his fans won't like it Devgn is, with due respects to Mira Nair, a reluctant terrorist... how reluctant , we won't reveal fully.
Devgn has a back story with screen wife Kangna Ranaut who in keeping with her character's British domicile, sports blonde hair. No, this is not a joke.
Luckily, Priyadarshan's plot has a lot more going for itself than its leading lady's hair-to-stay problems. The director creates a taut cat-and-mouse game between 'terrorist' Devgn and cop Anil Kapoor who in true Hollywood style, is on the verge of retirement from service when duty beckons.
There are enough men on duty on both sides of the law here to fill up one section of Tihar jail. The narration allows elbow-room for an army of actors laden with anxious motivations and tense expressions to match, all hurling like the speeding train towards an uncertain nemesis. Luckily, the plot finds itself a convincing finale. And we can go home feeling all is not lost for the slick action genre in Bollywood.
There is hope.
There are some jaw-dropping action sequences here. Some of them, like Devgn and Kapoor's fist-to-fist in the grand finale and the search for Devgn in a hospital's car park, are so expertly executed that they make you forget how far Bollywood lags behind in the action genre from its firangi counterpart. But then again some of the stunts like the one where passengers from the bomb-threatened train climb into a safe train, are done clumsily enough to bring us down with a thud.
Curiously Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy who plays Devgn's accomplices in the terror crime are given one extended heart-in-the-mouth chase sequence each. They show remarkable agility in their given space. Ditto the film's technicians. Thiru S Appan's camera looks at London with keen anticipation. Aditya Dhar doesn't come up with one memorable dialogue except, 'Teri Maa Ki...' when Devgn while negotiating his ransom money with train executive Boman Irani drops his cell phone.
"He's Indian, not Pakistani," Boman confidently informs cop Anil Kapoor with a straight face.
The absurdities don't swamp Tezz. True to its title, the tale of a bom(b) and a Boman trying to diffuse the crisis, whizzes by at breakneck speed. Priyadarshan's tackles what's a new genre for him, with pleasure and aplomb. Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Boman Irani, Sameera Reddy and Zayed Khan furnish a flavour of slickness to a story that holds your attention till the end.
Not quite edge-of-the-seat the thrills in Tezz are engaging enough to keep us watching.