Bhaag Johnny
Get Set Go!

Vikram Bhat
Story - Direction

Shivam Nair

Film Review
Bhaag Johnny:Worth Dime & Time

Worth Dime and Time!! yes  

Spoiler Warning – Care has been taken to avoid spoilers but minor twists are discussed for the purpose of Screenplay analysis.    

Bhaag Johnny is inspired by Run Lola Run (Lola Rennet, Germany 1998) which itself was a bit of inspiration from Blind Chance (Polish 1981 by Kieslowski). Although this one is much simpler in narration and execution, if we respect the inspiration then Bhaag Johnny is a nice attempt at a fast-paced thriller where chases are not only insertions for adrenaline rush but also vroom the plot along.

The idea is that the Protagonist is forced into a situation and has a chance to go through it in different ways using more than one choices. While Blind Chance and Run Lola Run had three splits, Bhaag Johnny has two intercutting stories based on choices.   

Johnny’s boss catches him for a common and petty corporate scam and blackmails him into committing a bigger crime. Johnny then gets two choices by some supernatural aid that he can try doing and not doing it and see the consequences and take a call.

The narrative of both the choices progresses simultaneously and keeps you engrossed. Edge of the seat, kind of thriller.

Among the three films released this week Calendar Girl, Kis Kis Ko Pyar Karoon and Bhaag Johnny, I think Bhaag Johnny got a somewhat raw deal, given the kind of product it is. Having seen all the three I really felt, our distribution system whether food or films needs redressal. frown

Obviously, Johnny’s two choices are our Hindi films age old Ram-Lakhan, Ravi-Vijay formula storylines where one Johnny who takes the killer route; aggressively goes on Chase’s Chase (James Hadley Chase) while his other part is mostly on defensive and still on run full of intrigue and, of course, this part is romantic and humane.

After a long time we see, technical things (hacking etc..) thought into details and executed convincingly.

You enjoy the ride and come out satisfied, albeit not fully.             

Because there are issues with the suspension of disbelief that why would his boss send him, an amateur guy, for the kill; when she has her own team of seasoned killers? And these goons are not even connected with her in a distant way. While Johnny is her employee. Given that; if her motive is out (which I am saving to avoid spoiler, but it’s not an out of the World motive) Johnny would be her obvious link to muder due to his association with her. This issue comes not only in the way of disbelief but also makes the Boss’s choice pretty illogical to believe.indecisionenlightened

The second aspect is the convenience. The bigger criminal Johnny (though again it looks unbelievable how come a guy working in corporate circle turns into die-hard criminal overnight) has been completely a 2D character. He is a callous killer and a mean, ungrateful guy. So when finally Johnny has to make a choice between two Johnnies, we clearly know who it would be. Giving a slight human angle to the ruthless Johnny might have improved the screenplay and even our interest. When a character has to make a difficult choice we are interested, a simple choice is simply a waste of time. I was also interested in the second lady, sorry forgot to tell you, in both his runs he has a beautiful lady for company, while one is the victim Tanya, who becomes his love interest, the second Rachel; he's taken as hostage.Indeed, 'White' Rachel becomes the dark house. We empathise with her and when she’s left out it not only breaks our heart broken heart as the audience it also sounds convenient when we look at it as a listener or writer. This makes Johnny’s choices tad easy. frown

Finally, even in the chosen track, the film's problems are resolved like the Run Lola narrative, while all through the film follows a bit different narrative mostly focused around the Protagonist. This might come as a sudden surprise not easy to imbibe.  

So what’s the call?  
Join Johnny in his chase, you won’t regret it. smiley

Kunal Khemu is indeed a talent getting less than what he deserves like his films and like our other guy or guys Niel, Nitin and Mukesh. laughwink

Kunal sails through the film in all his forms, right from romancing to action and at places pathos too. More than anything, he establishes himself as a “cool-carrier of hot thrillers.” yes

Zoya Morani as Tanya’s is decent till her character gets some depth where her inexperience and lack of skill show more than her expressions. Tanya reminds of Asin at times.

Mandana Karimi as Rachel is much better though her role is more of a property.

Music is a bit run of the mill kind, but still Music to Ear enough to stop you from taking mobile breaks.yes


   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate.

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