Caper thrillers are not easy stories to be told. And that's because even though the film's plot may just be a single liner, the screenplay needs to be embellished with enough twists and turns to keep the momentum going. Also, for an audience which tends to get restless at every pause in the screenplay, especially for a film belonging to this genre, the expectation levels have to be constantly matched.
And now comes the crore rupees question - Who is 'gaddaar'? And by the way - Who is Johnny?
Is it Seshadri [Dharmendra]?
A suave and sophisticated man in his 60s who was once a smuggler decades back but now ran a syndicate that earned from a mix of legal and not so legal activities. For someone who had lost the love of his life many years back, it didn't matter if he hardly posessed an emotional side. All he wanted was a loyal set of people who were good in what they did!
Is it Vikram [Neil Mukesh]?
A young man in his 20s who believed, like most other people in his age, that possibilities were endless. So much so that in spite of being decently educated with an experience in stocks, he was willing to be a part of Seshadri's syndicate. His aim? To achieve heights of success by first learning from the syndicate, then make himself trustworthy with his ideas and skills and finally, break that very trust! For him, what he loved most was money, money and money. And yes, he also loved his girlfriend Mini [Rimi Sen] with whom he wanted to eventually settle down. But then, who actually was Mini?
Is it Prakash [Vinay Pathak]?
Gamblers go out in the market to place bets on their money. For Prakash, it was all 'ghar ki baat'. Reason? He himself ran a gambling club called 'Deepa Social Club' and hence it was doubly difficult for him to resist his temptation of gambling. However, his business was going full steam courtesy his connection with underworld and his partners Seshadri and Shardul who had once helped his business from shutting down.
Is it Shardul [Zakir Hussain]?
It was quite an ironical situation for Shardul. He once ran dance bars. Now post the government ban on dance bard, he was forced to convert them into lounge bars. And this was hardly funny. His setting changed. His clientele changed. And worst, the kind of music required to be played changed. Looking at Vikram to helm him get out of this mess, he was a ruthless man who knew how to be in the best books of both law and the underworld!
Is it Daya [Shiva]?
The fifth man in the gang who belonged to a family of wrestlers from Kolhapur. A heavy weight who knew where and how to apply the right pressure, he was brutal. A family man who was concerned about the ill-health of his mother, he was unpredictable.
Together, Seshadri, Vikram, Prakash, Shardul and Daya may well have the jackpot of their life as they got going towards a destination that spelt crores. But Vikram had some other plans. He looked at double crossing his partners, even if that meant shedding some blood. Will he be successful in his endeavor? And was he really the 'gaddar'?
No unwanted love songs, no 'rona-dhona', no side comedy tracks and absolutely no beating around the bush - In short a 'mantra' which any and every caper thriller is required to follow. If initial indications are anything to go by, film maker Sriram Raghavan seems to have ensured all of that and much for his second directorial venture - JOHNNY GADDAR which releases on 28th September!