Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5  
Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena (The Player And The Beauty) (2005)
15Contains strong violence

Writer/director Suparn Verma makes his debut with Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, a Hindi-language adaptation of the Hollywood flick Confidence, starring Edward Burns, Rachel Weisz and Dustin Hoffman. Sadly Verma's cast is less impressive with B-grade Bollywood hero Fardeen Khan and newcomer Koena Mitra as leads. Khan plays Arjun Verma, a skilful grifter who's last scam backfires, leaving him indebted to a mob boss Sikander (Gulshan Grover). Sleek and sexy but far less gripping than the original, this is one remake you can afford to dodge.

Arjun (Fardeen Khan) is about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But when his swindle backfires, leaving him owing underworld kingpin Sikander (Gulshan Grover) and his hired gun Kaif (Kay Kay Menon), he is forced to pull off a bigger fraud against the even more villainous Jehanghir Khan (Feroz Khan). Thrown into the macho mix is sultry psychiatrist Natasha Kapoor (Koena Mitra), and soon no one really knows who's playing whom. No one except the audience that is, for you don't have to be Einstein to spot a real criminal from a fake; the clumsy dialogue takes care of that.

"DIFFICULT TO TAKE SERIOUSLY"

Thrillers like Confidence are exactly the sort of film Bollywood is always re-making and usually ruining in the process. The building of suspense is interrupted every fifteen minutes by jarring item numbers where the lead pair take a break from the drama to confess their love. It's difficult to take a crime story seriously when you've just witnessed the hero and heroine gyrating in lycra. The only thing Verma handles maturely is the steamy love scene between Khan and Mitra, who dare to bare more than other Indian actors have before.

In Hindi with English subtitles.

End Credits

Director: Suparn Verma

Writer: Suparn Verma

Stars: Fardeen Khan, Koena Mitra, Kay Kay Menon, Feroz Khan, Gulshan Grover, Rohit Roy, Mukul Dev, Amin Hajee

Genre: Bollywood, Action, Thriller

Length: 168 minutes

Cinema: 18 November 2005

Country: India

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