Story:Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) is planning a major robbery of gold worth crores, which is being transferred from Russia to Romania. In order to accomplish his task, he seeks the help of his role model, Victor Dada (Vinod Khanna). The duo have a common aim, that of building an educational institution in their hometown, catering to children of all status. Victor Dada puts forward five names, who'll also form part of their team- Ronnie (Bobby Deol), Riya (Bipasha Basu), Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh), Bilal (Sikander Kher) and Sunny (Omi Vaidya), who are masters in their respective arts. Charlie ropes them in for the burglary and eventually succeeds in the task. Victor’s daughter Naina (Sonam Kapoor) knows the art of hacking and also gives her share of help. But, hell breaks loose, when one of them turns out to be traitor and flees away with the entire gold. Now, who is this traitor and whether the dream of Victor and Charlie to build up a school will be fulfilled by defeating the traitor is rest of the story.
Story Treatment:Touted to be an official remake of The Italian Job, Players however, cries out a difference as the story is served with a desi tadka. Also, new dimensions in terms of characterisation have been added. Like, Vinod Khanna plays a passive player unlike the original character of The Italian Job, who leads the actual robbery. Also, Players is technologically well-advanced than original Hollywood flick although, the original is rich in terms of content. But, the flipside is the length of the film and performances which leave an intelligent direction in dilemma. The lack of energy in the actors, barring Bipasha and Neil leaves people yawning most of the times.
Star Cast:Abhishek Bachchan's performance reminds of the Dhoom series, with no set demarcation in his acting, as he gets to switch lanes between a good and a bad guy. Bipasha Basu leaves a mark with some apt expressions and confidence in her voice. Sonam Kapoor finds it hard to act and looks fake at some points. Neil Nitin Mukesh is outstanding and surprises with oodles of style in his body language and dialogues. Bobby Deol is amute spectator most of the times. Sikander Kher and Omi Vaidya are strictly okay. Vinod Khanna is excellent in his small, but pivotal role. Johny Lever as a car mechanic induces some pleasant light moments in the film.
Direction:Abbas-Mustan rock as directors, but at times, they succumb to the poor screenplay and dialogue writing by Rohit Jugraj and Sudip Sharma. The betrayal in love and swapping of partners brings back the memories of Race, Abbas-Mustan’s last release. Nevertheless, full marks to the robbery sequence with high-end technology, worth a watch definitely. But again, as mentioned earlier, a dragged screenplay and low enthusiasm takes away the charm.
Music/ Cinematography/ Dialogues/Editing:Music doesn’t ring a bell at all. The background music in the climax, during the run and chase sequence doesn’t sync with the style, which looks bizarre. Cinematography is ‘A’ class, complementing everything- from capturing locations to robbery. Dialogues are impactless and further ruin the efforts put in by the actors. Editing could have been crisper.
3 Ups and 3 Downs:Direction by Abbas-Mustan, cinematography and an edgy plotline are the strong points. Music, dialogues and performances (besides Bipasha and Neil's performance) are the weak points.
On the whole, Players is not flawless, but can be surely given a shot.