Whether the world really needs a Bollywood remake of Bryan Singer's Hollywood flick The Usual Suspects is a question someone should have asked director Vivek Agnihotri before giving his idea the okay. One look at Chocolate and the answer is an emphatic no. A far cry from the original, this strange Indian musical version starring Anil Kapoor as a lawyer trying to suss out whether his clients are innocent or guilty of an organised crime leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Two luckless Indians, Pipi (Irfan Khan) and Sim (Tanushree Dutta), find themselves arrested by the London police on Christmas Eve and accused of being involved in a terrorist attack on a boat and a linked bank heist. Dragged in to defend them and their partners in crime Rocker (Suneil Shetty), Tubby (Arshad Warsi) and Devaa (Emran Hashmi), are eminent lawyer Krish (Kapoor) and journalist Monsoon (Sushma Reddy), who aren't convinced by their story of being manipulated by a mysterious criminal mastermind. But the plethora of colourful characters isn't enough to hide Chocolate's stinky screenplay and dialogue. "From here London looks like a disco," says Krish looking out of his high-rise office block and attempting to analyse the situation while puffing on a cigar. You get the picture.
"SUSPENSE IS SOON LOST"
With unnecessary songs and repetitive shots of the cast walking aimlessly through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, the element of suspense is soon lost as Krish spends nearly three hours attempting to discover what's really going on. But by the end you neither care what the truth is, nor what happens to the motley crew, even though it's as plain as daylight. With all the wooden performances and nonsense goings-on, watching Chocolate is no sweet experience.
Music by Pritam.
In Hindi with English subtitles.