In London you'd be lucky to hail a cab that didn't charge you the earth to transport you round the corner. In Mumbai taxi rides are as cheap as chips, as long as you don't end up hailing someone like Raghu, a short-tempered cabbie who loves giving passengers the run around in Milan Luthria's Taxi No. 9211. Played outstandingly by acclaimed character actor Nana Patekar, this entertaining comedy-drama - inspired by Roger Michell's Changing Lanes - will take you on an entertaining journey through two contrasting lives.
When Raghav (Patekar) crosses paths with Jai (John Abraham), the arrogant son of a millionaire who is on his way to court to claim his legacy, a simple cab ride kicks off a 24-hour journey in which things go spectacularly wrong. They may not have the congestion charge to deal with, but Mumbai city throws up its fair share of other problems for the pair, both of whom stand to lose their most prized possession - Raghu his wife and kids and Jai his family fortune. Fortunately writer Rajat Arora's skilfully adapted screenplay and sharp dialogues make you want to hang on during their traumatic expedition.
Boasting gallons of fun, energy and some rather dangerous looking Indian car chases, Luthria's adept direction captures Mumbai's frenetic pace and people, from its notorious traffic jams to shady side-street characters. But above all, his film provides both Patekar and Abraham the opportunity to shine as two strangers who unexpectedly turn into vicious adversaries. Even Sonali Kulkarni and Sameera Reddy get a decent look in as their suffering partners. If you like your Bollywood to steer clear of schmaltz, take a trip to see Taxi No. 9211.
In Hindi with English subtitles.