Crook is a film so outrageously silly that you have to wonder if the makers meant it as a spoof.
Director Mohit Suri takes a relevant topic ? racism against Indians in Australia ? and makes a relevant point ? that Indians are also racist ? but does it in such a cartoonish way that it?s impossible to take any of it seriously.
In fact, in the first half, the racism angle seems like an after- thought. The narrative mostly establishes Suraj, an illegal immigrant played by Emraan Hashmi, and his romance with Suhani, played by the limp debutant Neha Sharma.
She aims to unite Australians and Indians through her radio show but has to contend with her oppressive older brother, played by Arjan Bajwa who says lines like: Main apne roots, culture aur sanskaron ke liye kisi ka bhi balidan de sakta hun. In the second half, the drama kicks in but the film, like some of its characters, becomes unhinged, ending in a laugh-out-loud climax.
The Bhatts ? Mukesh and Mahesh ? have a long tradition of creating serviceable dramas with melodious music but Crook is hopelessly scrambled?the tragic complexities of the Indian experience in Australia are reduced to one thwarted love affair. I?m going with one and a half stars.