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Line Of Descent Review: It Serves No Purpose

Line Of Descent(Zee5 Feature Film)

Starring Brendan Fraser, Abhay Deol,Ronit Roy, Neeraj Kabi,Ali Haji, Prem Chopra

Written  &  Directed by  Rohit Karn Batra

Rating: **(2 stars)

Another soggy  mafia saga set in and around  a Delhi business family,  and one that compares very poorly with Kanu Behl’s Titli and Shanker Raman’s GurgaonLine Of Descent  leaves  a puzzling  bitter  aftertaste.

It’s not  such  an awful film. It’s just so unnecessary it  resembles  a fifth or sixth generation  copy of  The Godfather with  Prem Chopra—giggle—playing Brando while  Ronit Roy  , Neeraj Kabiand Ali Haji play the three sons quite well . Abhay Deol the well-meaning  thought  ill-informed cop who busts the Sinha family’s   ass. And Hollywood has-been Brendan Fraser (the  big daddy from  the Mummy franchise series) makes an entry midway as an arms dealer of  indeterminate  race and an even more uncertain function in  a  plot that wants  to be  savage, funny, poignant and  relevant and trips over  its own overweening  ambitions.

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 Throughout the  running time of less than two hours  we search  for a  sense of purpose  in the plot.In vain. In the absence  of a  moral compass  the characters run all over the place trying to shock us with their  vicious  internecine domestic politics.Somewhere  in the  merger  of  mayhem and politics  a Caucasian  female  character  fires a  blazing gun at  one  of  the key  characters.She  also  shows  her  breasts in  a completely  unnecessary  shower sequence. The  director’s token nudge to censorial  freedom  on  the digital platform.

 This too doesn’t shock us  out of empathy that  grows out of  the film’s burning desire to consume the audiences’ interests in  a  blaze  of  bloodshed and  retribution.  It’s like  a Shakespearean tragedy  gone the Guddu Dhanoa way. The gravitas  required to  give the   characters a heft and immediacy are completely  lacking.

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Not that  the actors  don’t try. There are two powerful  performances by Ronit Roy and NeerajKabi as brothers  locked in a moral conflict to the  bloodied end. These are  actors  constantly in search of  roles to sink their  teeth into. Here  all they can  do is sink into the  swiveling silliness of  a plot that ambles from vitriolic to risible  when Adam Sandler pops in. Maybe he got paid well. Maybe he wanted to see Delhi, who knows? Sandler strikes a pathetically unfinished caricatured pose , like  a drunken man holding  a glass  out for a refill at a crowded pub .

Abhay Deol as a  cop trying to snuff out the sins of    of the Sinha  syndicate in Delhi has an even more  unfinished role. His character has a  back story about being desirous  of  adopting a child. But the film has much bigger  problems  to worry  about.

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Finding a centre  to this  hotheaded tale of  crime and punishment is as  impossible as looking for normal clothes in Ranveer Singh’s wardrobe . I am still wondering why  this film was made. 

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