I'm sure many of you are wondering what Tashan means. It means style. The name is apt because in Tashan style is all. But this isn't the super cool Western style that Bollywood usually revels in.
This is heartland grunge in which lead characters come from Kanpur, everyone speaks in Hinglish and even a UP goon is a rock star. Tashan isn't so much a film as a series of highly stylized set piece songs, action and comic sequences with very little connective tissue. This isn't surprising because it is written and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya who earlier wrote Dhoom and Dhoom 2, both of which sacrificed narrative for style.
But compared to Tashan, those films were models of coherence. In D2, there was also the sheer gorgeousness of Hrithik Roshan to connect the dots.
Tashan is a mind-numbing road trip filled with un-engaging characters. Anil Kapoor is bhaiyaji, a UP gangster, who desperately wants to speak English. Saif Ali Khan is a suave call center employee who is hired to teach him English. Kareena Kapoor is the femme fatale who sets events into motion and Akshay Kumar is the coolest goon in UP who sets on the trail of the couple when they dissapear with bhaiyaji's 25 crore.
Tashan could have been a kick ass roller coaster ride. There are stray moments when the film comes alive like Akshay Kumar's introduction scene in which the goon is acting as Ravan in a Ram Leela.
There are also some nicely choreographed action sequences though one in which Akshay and Kareena seem to be sexually aroused as he shoots people made me distinctly uncomfortable.
But mostly, Tashan sinks under the weight of too much attitude, forgettable songs and lack of script. The actors try hard but it's impossible to infuse life into such mindless scenes. Only Akshay manages to ride above the debris...there is an actor in peak form.
Tashan is the cinematic equivalent of being caught in a dark alley and bludgeoned. The ear-splitting background score amplifies the visual and narrative mayhem. When I walked out of the theater, I felt like I had aged. Only the fittest will survive this one.