Friday, November 25, 2005


I can't recall the last time I enjoyed so much, a movie that has so little! James has an alarmingly bare storyline, an unconvincing romance, over-the-top villains and a wooden hero. But it also has wall-to-wall action picturized with style and that surprisingly carries the movie through.

James(Mohit Ahlawat) has just moved to Mumbai from Goa and with his friend's help, secures a job as a bouncer at one of the most popular discos in the city. Mumbai is under the criminal grip of Shanti Narayan, who has just won the election. His brother, Radhe Narayan, has his eyes on Nisha(Nisha Kothari), a model and when he harasses her at the club, James roughs him up. That makes him go after James.

Mohit in James is not just a hero but a superhero. He swats down the bad guys like they are flies and I don't think he receives even one blow in return - except when he is caught unawares. But his heroics don't contain the gravity-defying leaps or middle-of-the-air twists we see in Vijayakanth films. And they don't involve the Matrix-style gunfights we've seen in movies like Kaante. The fights here are hand-to-hand combats kinda like the fights in Run(1 fight on the street even repeats some of the moves from a similar sequence in Run) that, within the confines of Hindi cinema, seem strangely believable.

Like a John Woo film, James is powered by pure style. If I had kept track, I think more than half the running time of the film would've been in slow motion! Fast cuts and B&W shots are thrown into the mix too. But it works. Every fight is pretty much a well-choreographed dance number. Fists fly, arms flail and bodies fall but it all happens with style and grace. And the variety of locations and props prevents the fights from seeming repetitive. Helping immeasurably is the high-energy background score.

Thats not to say the movie holds our interest every minute. The plot is simply too thin for that to happen. While slo-mo shots work for the fights, they are overused, especially when used on the bad guys while they search for Mohit and Nisha. And the climactic fight seems to drag, maybe because we've had our fill of fights by then.

Mohit Ahlawat is pretty much a robot here. He shows no emotion and speaks at the most a dozen lines. His hands do all the talking. Nisha Kothari seems to be in the Urmila Matgaonkar mould - petite, baby-faced and wearing costumes that leave little to the imagination. The villains try to be menacing but when going up against a superhero, there's not much they can do other than utter threats and then fall to the ground! Rajpal Yadav, as always, grabs our attention in a small cameo.


At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey bj, completely agree dude

‘james’ was a complete adrenaline rush from ramu… I watched it so many times in the theatre that I lost count lol

definitely one of the most stylish and energetic action flicks I have seen

the direction, cinematography, score, fight chorography were all excellent… which made this film completely rise above its formulaic action script

though I agree abt mohit, he basically had one expression the entire film lol… but he did do well in the action scenes, which I guess is the important part in an action flick

to be honest though, I don’t see much of a career for him outside of action films

though I thought nisha/amoga did really well - if you think abt it she was given the conventional heroine role, w/ not much to do and her character was barely developed - but despite all that she really managed to make you feel for her character

and it did help that she wasn’t too hard on the eyes also : ))

though I disagree w/ you on a small point - as much as I usually like rajpal, I thought his little portion in this film was completely unwarranted and unnecessary, it just basically slowed the film down

I thought if his part was taken out, the film would have been perfect and flowed smoother

nonetheless, a really fun film

btw bj, have you seen the promo for ramu’s new film??

check it out, it releases dec 2…. MR YA MISS


At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nisha is our lil Amoga.. she's a cutie


At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

though she has few screen names - amoga (jay jay), nisha (sarkar, james) - her real name is actually priyanka.

she even used her real name in her first ramu film ‘madhyanapu hatya’ (the telugu version of my wife’s murder)


At 11:28 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vic, so we finally agree on a film!! :)

i too thot rajpal's section was unnecessary and slowed the film down. but i thot the actor himself was good and made the part tolerable.

there's an interview with nisha/amoga in 'kungumam'. thats when i realized they were the same! and then saw both your comments :)

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked up the movie after I read your blog. I should say the movie does live up to your blog :) Its a pure action flick with some dialogues fill the time in between. A lit of little bit of intelligence could have made this movie a much better watch.
I haven't seen Run but it did remind me of Gilli a little bit.


At 8:01 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

skanda, yeah i remember reading about that too. 'james' director is supposedly unhappy with that and is filing a case or something.

karthik, thanx. a comment like "I picked up the movie after I read your blog. I should say the movie does live up to your blog" always makes me happy :)


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