Film: "The Train"; Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Sayali Bhagat, Geeta Basra and Aseem Merchant; Director: Raksha Mistry and Hasnain Hyderabadwala; Rating: *
Tagline for this week's thriller - "Some lines should never be crossed". Sounds familiar. Wasn't that the tagline for the 2005 cheesy downmarket Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen starrer "Derailed"?
Co-directors Mistry and Hyderabadwala, to whom goes the dubious distinction of being the only directorial duo of Bollywood after Abbas-Mustan, don't just rip off the fast-paced loco-motivated thriller about the price an adulterous man must pay for biting into the forbidden fruit.
They turn it into a mushy-mushy rush-rush job where the film editor seems as much in a hurry as the commuters in the Thai subway that houses this thriller's non-existent thrills.
Trust me, Geeta Basra playing Aniston's role is quite a forbidden apple. She pouts, preens and poses as though Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction" has suddenly got too close for comfort.
And Emraan Hashmi as Michael Douglas from "Fatal Attraction" is a fatal aberration. Emraan's titillating transgressions are the stuff that Mahesh Bhatt's cinema are made of. And yet here lies the deception - the very idea of placing Emraan at the vortex of a lustful infidelity is not temptation enough to sit through this stilted rip-off of a passably puerile thriller.
It's one thing for Shekhar Kapur to sublimate "Man Woman & Child" by making it into the resplendently emotional "Masoom".
Mistry and Hydrabadwala heat up the cold warmth of the Hollywood film into a mockery of all definitions of life, love marriage and lust in cinema.
The Thai setting hardly helps to pump up the anaemic adrenaline. It only heightens the queasy feeling of watching a bad Hollywood thriller vandalised by people who don't seem to have one original, let alone inspiring, bone in their creative body.
In the absence of an inner conviction, the narrative creates scenes from a broken marriage whose splinters pierce the plot with agonising self-consciousness.
K. Raj Kumar wields the camera as though Bangkok was an overgrown shopping mall. The film wears an over-ripened decadent look suggesting forbidden pleasures.
Yes, Mithoon's tunes are interesting in bits. Why not watch them at home?
If you really want to know why modern marriages are falling apart, don't look for answers in this unfaithful adaptation of a foreign film on unfaithfulness. Watch Anurag Basu's "Metro" instead. But if you really want to know what's wrong with Hollywood rip-off-ed Hindi films, go see "The Train".
A more bogus ride on celluloid would be difficult to obtain.