‘99’ is a realistic yet satirical film with wry humour that deals with the nexus between the under-world dons, illegal betting rings and unscrupulous match-fixing cricketers.
The film ‘99’ derives its title because the story of the film is set in the year 1999, when the entire world is looking for the new millennium 2000.
The film revolves around the characters Sachin (Kunal Khemu), Zaramud (Cyrus Broacha) , Rahul (Boman Irani), AGM (Mahesh Manjrekar), Pooja (Soha Ali Khan), Kuber (Amit Mistry) and JC (Vinod Khanna).
Sachin and Zaramud, small time offenders, are running away from police and get caught in the web of AGM, who sends them to Delhi to get dues from Rahul who is in the habit of betting with JC and losing. Rahul has trouble with his wife (Simone Singh) also. Meanwhile, Sachin develops romantic interest in Pooja. The India-South Africa match comes in handy for every one in financial trouble to come out of the crisis because of the basic betting instincts of Rahul. The climax is very interesting and eminently watchable.
Kunal Khemu and Boman Irani go with a free flow of acting content. Cyrus Broacha appears a little constrained. Soha Ali Khan is breezy and nothing much to do. Simone Singh is passable. Amit Mistry is a real surprise find. Mahesh Manjrekar and Vinod Khanna give decent performances.
The story of ‘99’ written by Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK and Sita Menon is crisp. Though the first half takes a little longer than usual to introduce the pivotal characters, the second half is as gripping as a thriller.
Directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK have made a naturalistic feel to the film with even comedy based on characters and not situations. Some of the mainstream practices like a fixed dose of song-and-dance sequences are not resorted to.
Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi and Prakash Kutty enhances the narration of the film with realistic yet romantic visuals. Sound design by Stephen Gomes is good. Editing by Cherag Todiwala is appreciable.
’99’ has a refreshingly new style of cinema narration which would appeal more to the metro-multiplex audience and might equally appeal to the regular movie-goer because of the structure of the film and some really good performances.
The Cast and Crew
Kunal Khemu, Cyrus Broacha, Soha Ali Khan, Boman Irani, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vinod Khanna, Amit Mistry, Simone Singh and others.
Dialouges :Sita Menon
Music :Shamir Tandon,Ashu,Roshan Machado,Mahesh Shankar
Editing: Cherag Todiwala
Sound Design: Stephen Gomes
Cinematography: Rajeev Ravi and Prakash Kutty
Action: Javed Eijaz
Producer: Anupam Mittal and Aditya Shastri
Banner: People Pictures
Screen Play and Direction: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK,
2.75 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar