New York

The Bollywood has long been criticized for not being able to roll out serious movies as often and not being able to make anything else but what can be dubbed as ‘Commercial Cinema’. New York tries to change all that.
Themed around the illegal detention and torture of innocent civilians post 9-11, one can appreciate such an attempt at a socially relevant topic. But unfortunately that’s all that we can do… appreciate the effort and maybe patronize the movie.
The entire movie is filled with giant loopholes, and certain scenes seem to appear just for the heck of it. Neil and Katrina Kaif thoroughly show their ineptness in acting, while John is barely tolerable. Besides, the biggest flaw that this movie suffers from is the Bollywood style melodrama that has been stuffed down its throat.
The story is about 3 college friends Sam a.k.a Sameer Sheikh (John Abraham), Omar (Neil) and Maya (Katrina Kaif). There is also Irrfan Khan who plays the part of an FBI agent Roshan.
The movie begins with Roshan interrogating Omar over the guns found in his cab. He orders Omar to tell him everything about his past with Sam and Maya. With time, Omar realizes that Roshan expects him to spy on his old college friends to uncover a terrorist plot.
This flashes us back to pre 9-11 when Omar first entered USA. But their story is probably one of the most typical love triangles that the bollywood has been using since the dawn of time. Even their college life appears to be so lame that one has difficulty relating to these characters. All three of them behave like 25 year olds rather than college students. This is probably one of the movie’s biggest flaws; it fails to make the audience relate to its characters, who would go through hell over the rest of the movie’s duration. It seems this entire part has been created just for the heck of it; there is even a lack of total correlation between certain scenes. For example, just out of the blue, Sam gets shot in the leg trying to rescue Maya’s purse from a New York Mugger (The whole White Knight routine to win the lady’s heart!). But instead of showing Sam in the hospital, the next scene is about how heartbroken Omar is now that Maya has fallen for Sam! That’s right; the director chooses to ignore his lead character, that has been shot, to show an ungrateful punk too self-centered to realize that his best friend is lying in the hospital suffering from a gun shot wound!  
Even after Sam is falsely imprisoned on charges of terrorism, the movie hardly inspires any emotion. The torture scenes have already been used a lot of time in western cinema. The characters who do not communicate in Hindi are conspicuously quiet. This makes the scenes appear even less believable. There is also no subtlety in John’s acting, he shouts like a dog being whipped throughout the scenes.
But there are a few twists and turns in the movie that the viewer might not expect. These make the movie barely passable. I will be leaving them out of this review. Though I will have to add that most of these turns have been stupidly handled. There is melodrama throughout with total lack of originality.
Even the climax acutely suffers from these problems, the movie tries to rely on the audience’s connection with the characters to smudge over the obvious loopholes, but wait… there is no connection! The movie is too busy trying to be emotional to realize how stupid its certain scenes are.
After the pretentious climax, we are treated with a speech from Roshan on how USA is still secular and etc, etc. Which brings us to the movie’s last flaw… it doesn’t let you think. It shouts its message in your face and prints it on the screen. It’s not one of those movies where you leave with a subtle message which you need to think about, to properly understand it. The entire subject of this movie could be summed up in a Sunday editorial.
New York is Bollywood’s attempt at growing up… and the way I see it, it still has a long way to go; and one shouldn’t expect to see a mature movie being rolled out unless there is a serious attempt to get rid of its old annoying habits. All in all one cant do much but patronize the movie for its attempt to ‘try’ something new.


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