Indian film critics have gone on the rampage against Bollywood criminal Sanjay Dutt’s new film Knock Out, which debuted in theaters today.
An Indian court in Mumbai has already ruled that Knock Out is a copy of the 2003 Hollywood film Phone Booth (Collin Farrrell, Kiefer Sutherland) following a complaint by 20th Century Fox. But the producers of Knock Out managed to get a stay of the court’s ruling by appealing to a two-judge bench.
A lot of Indian films are unwatchable horror-shows and are often outright copies of successful Hollywood or other foreign movies.
Consumed by raw greed, disdainful of others’ intellectual property rights and utterly bereft of shame, Indian film stars are often willful accomplices in the continuing theft of Hollywood/foreign movies.
Unlike Chinese, Italian, French, German, Spanish or Korean films that have won audiences beyond their native countries, Indian movies have failed to attract audiences outside of South Asia or the vast diaspora in the U.S., UK, New Zealand, Middle East, South Africa and South East Asia because the movies are mostly crude, amateur stuff.
Knock Out is in limited release in the U.S., presumably because the producers are scared of the legal repercussions. The movie is playing at Anil Ambani’s Big Cinemas theater in North Bergen, NJ, a few miles outside the Midtown Tunnel in Manhattan and a few other theaters elsewhere.
Here’s what a sample of Indian movie critics had to say on Knock Out:
Wish the filmmakers had just knocked out the idea of making the film in the first place….
The level of ridiculousness rises as the film progresses. The first half is still tolerable, because you think you have the second half to look forward to. But the nonsense only intensifies after the interval.
With almost the entire film stationed around the phone booth and the events unfolding in real time, the storytelling could have been focused. Rather it becomes one-dimensional and fails to generate the necessary tension between the lead characters though it had immense scope for it. The proceedings appear repetitive and senselessly stretched. With its single-setting, the film largely relies on its wordplay but Shiraz Ahmed’s dialogues are uninspiring and mediocre….
Allan Amin’s dhishoom dhishoom action sequences in the climax lack the punch….
Knock Out only beats around the booth and will leave you conked out. Enter at your own peril.
An old joke about Indian politicians goes that a corrupt politician isn’t one who takes bribes.
He is one who takes bribes and still doesn’t get the work done. After watching Knock Out, I thought we should apply this to filmmakers also: so a mediocre filmmaker isn’t one who steals blatantly. He is one who steals blatantly and still can’t come up with a half decent film….
If Mani Shankar had faithfully copied Phone Booth, we might have had a reasonably diverting thriller but his original additions, which echo the vigilante justice angle of A Wednesday, reduce Knock Out to a cartoon.