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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 19.07.08

After a Lolita remake (Nishabd), a Godfather remake (Sarkar and Sarkar Raj) and the mother of all remakes (the disastrous RGV Ki Aag), Ram Gopal Varma retreats into familiar ‘underworld’ territory with Contract. But is Contract a remake of RGV’s own Satya and Company? Or is it the final part of the Satya-Company trilogy as claimed by the director?

Contract shows flashes of the two films that made Ram Gopal Varma a film-maker to reckon with, but neither can claim their intensity. On the contrary, what Contract arouses in the viewer is the same feeling that one has felt watching the director’s recent films: a promising premise marred by shoddy execution and the trademark RGV self-indulgence.

The opening lines of Contract — ‘You can ignore terrorism, but terrorism won’t ignore you’ — make it clear what’s coming in the next two hours. Ex-armyman Aman Malik (newcomer Adhvik Mahajan) agrees to become a police informant when his wife and daughter are killed in a jihad-inspired bomb blast. Aman becomes Amaan, is given a new backstory, is taught how to read the namaaz and work his way into an underworld gang.

All for a purpose: to lay his hands on Sultan, a purported Osama-style terrorist. Ample doses of blood, gore, murder and mayhem later, Amaan wipes out the terrorists but refuses to become Aman again. The because? “Main aatankvaadi reh kar aatankvaad ko jad se khatam kar dena chahta hoon.

Armed with an interesting plot, Contract had all the makings of a riveting film, but it falls far too short. Writer Prashant Pandey is no Anurag Kashyap or Jaideep Sahni — the men behind Satya and Company — and even at just a little over two hours, Contract becomes a drag in parts.Varma’s fixation with bizarre characters continues with Contract — a gangster who wears colourful shorts throughout the film, a cop who has a coffee mug in hand even when he is gunning down a baddie and an encounter specialist who ‘talks’ to a poster of Mallika Sherawat whenever he can.

Newcomer Adhvik Mahajan’s acting skills fail to match his brooding intensity. RGV’s favourite gang of Zakir Hussain, Upendra Limaye and Sumeet Nijhawan turn in decent performances. Female lead Sakshi Gulati doesn’t make an impact.

Finally, remaking a film is one thing, but repeating the same dialogues? “Faisle galat nahin hote, nateeje galat hote hain” is something we have heard before. Yet again, RGV comes up with a galat nateeja.

Priyanka Roy