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Prince / Go back

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Hollywood has come up with so many movies on memory loss, while Bollywood too has had its share of films which depicted the protagonist losing his memory, GHAJINI being the most recent example. But what if someone robs your memory? Quite an interesting thought, isn't it?

One of the advantages of having a GenNext director is, he's ready to take risks, ready to tread the untrodden path, ready to go where no one has been before. But there's a disadvantage too: Visuals and technique take precedence, while story takes a backseat. PRINCE has a terrific first half, where technique and content go hand in hand, but technique overpowers the content in its post-interval portions.

What surprises you is that PRINCE is penned by the writer of RACE [Shiraz Ahmed] and like RACE, PRINCE too has several twists and turns every 15 odd minutes. But the twists and turns are a mixed bag here - captivating at times, not captivating at some places. More on that later!

On the brighter side, PRINCE has great stunts and chase sequences [Allan Amin], fantastic visuals [South Africa] and of course, a chartbuster musical score [Sachin Gupta]. And these three factors, coupled with Vivek Oberoi's convincing performance, should take the film to safety!

One of the savviest thieves in the world [Vivek Oberoi] commits the biggest heist of his life. He wakes up next the morning to realize he has a gunshot wound on his arm that he doesn't remember getting. In his quest to find answers, he discovers his name is Prince, he used to work for a man named Sarang and his girlfriend's name is Maya.

He is being hunted by the secret service of India, the CBI and the biggest white collared criminals in the world. He is the most wanted man in the country because only he knows the whereabouts of the heist, which contains a secret that is linked not only to his loss of memory, but threatens the future of the human race.

Every day he meets a new girl claiming to be Maya. He doesn't remember where he has hidden the Heist. He has just dive days of his life. Time is running out...

Although PRINCE stands on a novel premise, flashes of the Dev Anand starrer JEWEL THIEF do cross your mind. PRINCE starts off with a heist and soon after, Vivek realises that his memory has been 'erased'. The mystery only deepens when he meets three different women, all posing as Maya and all having a new story to tell. So far, so good!

But the difficult part is to keep the viewer's interest alive till the finale and that's where PRINCE starts crumbling. The second hour - the entire journey of Prince and the real Maya going on a wild chase to trace the coin and also regain Prince's memory - is exciting in bits and spurts.

The concept of erasing a person's memory and then inserting it back with chips and gizmos sounds wow, but the way it has been projected in the film is ludicrous and far from convincing. Ditto for the climax, when Prince traces the villain to the Afghan-Pakistan border. He does so after he had hidden a device in the villain's shoes, while he was being bashed in the earlier sequence. Also, showing Prince having the same qualities as Spiderman [he can cast a web anytime he's in distress] makes you wonder, is he an ordinary mortal or a super human?

Director Kookie Gulati has an eye for visuals and that's evident from the very start of the film itself. The film looks magnificent and wears an international look as well. Shiraz Ahmed's screenplay is watertight in the first hour, but leaves a lot to be desired in the latter portions. Dialogues [Mayur Puri] are well worded. Cinematography [Vishnu Rao] is top notch and the eye-filling locations are a visual treat. Allan Amin's stunts and chases are mesmeric. Sachin Gupta's musical score is trendy and catchy.

Vivek is super in a rather difficult role. He is excellent in dramatic portions especially and carries off the stunts with remarkable ease. Nandana is effective. Neeru doesn't get much scope. Aruna is the best of the lot. Sanjay Kapoor enacts his part well. Dalip Tahil is alright. Isaiah has screen presence and looks ferocious on screen. Rajesh Khattar is hardly there.

On the whole, PRINCE has great music, super stunts, Vivek Oberoi's bravura performance and terrific promotion as its trump card, but where it falters is in its writing [in its second half mianly]. Yet, all said and done, the film has the merits to strike a chord with the youth and lovers of masala movies.

3 1/2 Star

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