At one point in Game, Kangna Ranaut, playing Sia, an officer with something called the International Vigilance Squad, exasperatedly asks: What the bloody hell is going on? My sentiments exactly!
Game, written by Althea Delmas Kaushal, is a whodunit that starts out on a beautiful island in Greece.
A billionaire invites four strangers to the island and then reveals that his intentions are far from friendly. You might recognise this basic plot line from Agatha Christie’s best-selling novel And Then There Were None, which has been adapted for stage, film and even a video game.
Or closer to home, there was Shalimar, ostensibly India’s first crossover film, in which the world’s greatest jewel thief, who is dying, invites other world- class thieves to his island to participate in a deadly contest.
This seems, to me, like fairly straight-forward business.
Strangers, secrets, murder and revenge in a confined space should equal entertainment but Game is convoluted and incoherent.
Debutant director Abhinay Deo creates superbly slick visuals with characters traipsing across five cities.
There is a wonderfully done chase sequence on the roof-tops in Turkey and the aquamarine seas in Greece are gorgeous.
Everyone from Abhishek Bachchan as the hip casino owner Neil to Gauhar Khan as the loyal secretary Samara is nicely outfitted.
There’s lot of strutting and style and high-tech sleuthing. But there isn’t a story that makes sense.
I’m not looking for realism here but a whodunit has to be consistent with its own logic. In Game, anything goes.
Characters behave randomly and at the end, when you try to tie it all together, it unravels even more.
The actors veer between looking bewildered and grim and the only one who makes any impression is Kangna who brings some energy into this leaden enterprise. I’m going with two stars.