Banners: Raj Khatri Filmz, OM Reels,
Producers: Raj Khatri, Sunit Jawadekar,
Sunita Kothare, Amitabh Chandra
Director: Karan Lalit Butani
Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Kay Kay, Pankaj
Tripathi, Shriya Saran, Jackie Shroff,
Writer: Karan Lalit Butani
Music: Krsna Solo, Sandeep Goswami,
Chambal is known as the land of dacoits, a place where guns rule and nothing else matters. It is said that the water of Chambal is so potent that it can change a simpleton into a hot-headed person. Well, that is what the narrator of Phamous says. And that is what the movie is apparently all about.
The story is set in the village-town of Ramsarai. Shambu is the singular force standing in the way of Kadak Singh and his close pal Ramvijay Tripathi. While Singh believes in the power of guns, Tripathi is ruled by sexual desire. In sheer desperation, Singh tries to kidnap Shambu’s daughter, who has caught the fancy of Tripathi. The result is a lot of gunfire and the death of Shambu’s daughter on her wedding day.
In the midst of this chaotic power struggle is a young boy Radhe. He is fascinated by Singh and his guns and secretly aspires to be like him. As if aided by destiny, Radhe saves Singh from a murder charge and he becomes indebted to the young boy for life. As time goes by, Radhe grows up and gets married. Singh is now the king of Ramsarai and Tripathi has become an MP.
But, old habits die hard. Tripathi sets his eyes on Radhe’s wife and tries to force Singh to help. This time, Singh refuses. Things sour between the two. But, how long can friends remain foes, especially when money and power are involved?
Though Phamous is based on an interesting premise, the screenplay is confusing in some places, the timelines are not clear and the story seems to go nowhere. Visually, the film is striking and Chambal has been captured well. The music and dialogue add to the authenticity of the location and characters. What could have been an interesting Indian version of a Western falters due to a dated and incoherent screenplay. The movie has nothing much to offer, even though it boasts of a stellar cast.
Performance-wise, Pankaj Tripathi and Kay Kay as Ramvijay Tripathi and Kadak Singh respectively are brilliant. They impress with the ease with which they deliver their lines, whether comedy or serious dialogue. But, after some time, it gets repetitive. Jackie Shroff as Shambu has his moments. Every time he appears on screen, he rules. Jimmy Sheirgill as Radhe is sincere, but there isn’t much for him to do in this lacklustre narrative. Shriya Saran as Radhe’s wife looks beautiful and is okay. Mahie Gill is totally wasted. She has around three scenes and her character adds nothing much to the story.