9 Eleven Review – Don’t Waste Your Time

Our first thought after watching the Hindi film 9 Eleven was that it’s a pity everyone and his brother is making movies these days.

Bozos with a few coins jingling in their pockets get an irresistible, uncontrollable itch that won’t abate until they see their name in the Produced by [Insert Bozo’s Name Here] credits.

Surely, it’s high time for some kind of film rating system to warn viewers they’re about to watch an amateurish exercise.

It’s unlikely we’d have watched or even heard of 9 Eleven but for Sonny Chatrath.

Sonny’s New Jersey travel service business has been advertising on SearchIndia.com for about a decade and we’ve gotten to know the bloke well over the years.

And those who know Sonny know he’s an ebullient fella who likes to excitedly share what he’s up to.

For the last couple of years, Sonny has been badly bitten by the modeling and acting bugs. And on several occasions, he’s provided us an update on his movie forays.

So we were well aware since last year that filming of 9 Eleven was happening in the DC suburb of College Park (MD) and of Sonny’s role in the film.

9 Eleven – A Remake

Those familiar with Bollywood are aware that Indian film-makers’ enthusiasm for the movie business far outstrips their competence in the craft.

After watching several hundred Hindi films spanning several decades, we’re painfully conscious that the Indian movie business is a wreck resulting from big ambition colliding with small talent.

Given the paucity of talent, most Bollywood films are unendurable horror-shows, the scripts are often stolen outright from Hollywood films (Partner, Heyy Baby, Ek Ajanabee ….the list of stolen Indian movies is endless) and trash is the name of the game.

Unlike Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese orΒ  Korean films that have grown an audience beyond their borders, no one, virtually no one except Indians and the diaspora watches Indian films.

9 Eleven too is not an original exercise.

For the most part, the 9 Eleven script is based on the straight-to-DVD English film Nine Dead (available on Netflix Instant play).

A legal remake, proclaim the makers of 9 Eleven at the fag end of the credits.

Manan Singh Katohora directed the film that was produced by Narain Mathur.

You can see the full list of 9 Eleven’s cast and crew here.

Amateurish Exercise

Now unless you’re a Roman Polanski (don’t miss his brilliant Carnage), a Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men) or an Alfred Hitchcock (Dial M for Murder) working with a strong cast and gripping script, you ought to stay away from making films where everything happens within the narrow, restricted confines of a single room.

We suspect nouveau Indian movie-makers who opt for scripts in a restrictive setting are hamstrung by finances and think it’s an easy, cheap way out to fulfill their dreams.

When you’re painting on a large canvas or filming in a larger setting, a lot of inadequacies can be camouflaged, at least to some extent.

People’s attentions are drawn to or can be diverted to so many elements unlike in a small setting where the script and acting are paramount, the be all and end all.

Little do these tyros realize they’ve doomed their enterprise from the get-go because the immense talent required to succeed in a small confine is just not within their grasp.

With revenge as the leitmotif, the basic premise of 9 Eleven has intriguing possibilities.

But the execution demands a strong script and powerful acting midwifed by a competent director who can ably lead the team.

All these rare but necessary qualities are lacking in 9 Eleven.

The acting is, for the most part, pedestrian.

One might be forgiven for wondering if the actors were randomly picked from a parking lot on the Indian strip on Oak Tree Road (NJ) or Silver Spring (MD) with the promise of a few free buffet lunches in Moghul or Woodlands.

Sure, some were less hopeless than the others.

But overall this bunch acted as if they’d drunk one Lassi too many.

We heard the actors went through rehearsals before the shooting commenced.

Clearly, the rehearsal time was not long enough.

On Tuesday, Sonny candidly told us the “acting is very weak across the board.”

If the acting never scaled great heights, the writing (by Manan Singh Katohora) was downright mediocre.

Again, no surprise when you’re doing a sentence-by-sentence translation from a below-par English film.

Except for some changes at the end, 9 Eleven is a verbatim remake of Nine Dead, just with a different cast and crew.

In both movies, a bunch of people are kidnapped separately, confined together in a small room and asked by their captor to find out why they were brought there.

They must find the answer quickly because the kidnapper promises to kill one of them every nine minutes should they fail to deduceΒ  the reason.

And he soon proves his threat is no idle bluff.

The victims are a mixed bunch and include a pedophile, a gangster, a priest, a doctor, a prosecutor, a cop, an item dancer, a Chinese woman, a bartender, a student and a thief.

By the way, if you’re indianizing the English film, shouldn’t you at least change the ethnicity of the Chinese woman to, say, a Tamil or Oriyan.

Given the deadly predicament of the kidnapped victims, one would have expected the tension quotient in the room to be a lot higher. The tension quotient was a little higher in the English version.

With the script so effete and the acting so pedestrian, the interaction between this motley bunch was just not gripping enough to sustain our attention.

When we heard that director Manan Singh Katohora got an award at the Canada International Film Festival for this junk, we lost all respect for the jury.

Other Issues

Then, there’s the problem of the sound.

Something’s gone seriously wrong here because the pitch of the actors’ voices does not seem loud enough, particularly in the early part of the movie.

As if all of the above were not bad enough to sink this movie, viewers are also subjected to the torment of a pathetic item number featuring an aging, repulsive Bollywood hag (Kashmira Shah).

Atrocious and good-riddance was all we could say at the end of the item number.

Admittedly, the surprise element or the gradual arrival of the reason was lost for us because we’d watched Nine Dead on Netflix Instant before seeing 9 Eleven. But then we were not much impressed with the English version too.

Bottom line, the dubious quality of the parent (Nine Dead) is reflected in the off-spring 9 Eleven, albeit in a magnified state.

Avoid 9 Eleven

Your favorite blog SearchIndia.com does not recommend 9 Eleven.

When there are so many fine films (Korean, Chinese, English, Japanese etc) out there on Netflix and Amazon Prime, it’d be a sin to squander time on fluff like 9 Eleven.

But should you be in a masochistic mood, you can stream 9 Eleven from Databazaar Media to your TV (via Roku) or PC.

As for Sonny Chatrath, our unrequited advice to him – Don’t leave your day-job at the travel agency. πŸ˜‰

Related Content:
9 Eleven – Cast and Crew

11 Responses to "9 Eleven Review – Don’t Waste Your Time"

  1. Mnx542   April 14, 2012 at 5:10 am


    Official Billa 2 teaser.. What do u think??

    Don’t have any high hopes about Ajith’s acting but I expect the movie to be decent. The story would focus on how David, an ordinary man from TN, becomes David Billa, a dreaded underworld don.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    The joker still hasn’t learned to walk normally. πŸ˜‰

  2. vjcool   April 16, 2012 at 12:55 am

    watching cabin in the woods??, has got good reviews and seems to be your bottle of beer. BTW, the trailer I saw gave away more than “5 teens go to the cabin “, so don’t watch the trailer or read any reviews

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Cabin in the Woods was on our list.

    But we’ve not been keeping well for a while so trying to avoid going out much!

    • vjcool   April 17, 2012 at 7:24 am


      Take care

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Good. Loved the bit in the end about how the Romans, Pharisees etc in the big arena “absolutely …. him!”

      Sai Baba and all the other Sants, Babas, Fathers and Moulvis are going to waste in India. Think of how much we could have with our peerless Indian charlatans.

  3. shadowfax_arbit   April 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Take care of your health SI.

    We need to get entertained by you for long long time…

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Sweetie, we’re not Chiranjivi (in the Sanskrit sense, not referring to that Telugu buffoon).

  4. Naveen   April 17, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Guten Morgen SI!

    You may have seen this news but if not then I am making sure you didnt miss it. Several Indians, male and female collectively came when this very important news came πŸ˜‰


    but Indian men were disappointed to learn this

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Hallo Sweetie!

    Our favorite line from the first link – Sunny Leone has teamed with PETA to support the cause of homeless dogs. πŸ˜‰

    Poor dogs!

    Millions of Indians will disagree with us but if we were a homeless dog, we’d opt for the safe haven of the street to being cuddled by Sunny! Just imagine, if those udders burst and the saline solution starts flowing down our face!

    Woof, no worse fate on Planet Earth! πŸ™

    Second link – Sunny’s husband Daniel has acted in the movie titled “The Virginity Hit.”

    Looks like a Made for Each Other Couple!

    Thank God for such colorful people. They make the world a better place!

    Extra from Wiki: Before working in the porn industry, she first worked at a German bakery, a Jiffy Lube, and later a tax and retirement firm.

    Great Resume – a tart maker, a lubricant…..!

    • Naveen   April 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Well… India is blessed now. πŸ˜€

  5. gandhiji   April 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

    SI, no OKOK review? It has got pretty decent reviews (sify has given it 5/5). πŸ˜€

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    OKAOKA did not release in the area.

    We saw the trailer a couple of months back and felt Udayanidhi was not a bad actor.

    Not that Udayanidhi is a Brando or De Niro but he seemed better than Ajith, Simbhu, Vombhu and the other Kombhus of Kollywood.

  6. schatrath   May 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

    “9 Eleven” won the best feature film award at http://thepeoplesfilmfestival.com/ on Saturday night.

    Also, I have been nominated for best actor at the http://www.wmiff.net/2012-nominees.

    There are two other awards coming up. The feedback from critics is just simply amazing, they loved our work in the film. and maybe SI was disappointed because they set the standards very high, but average people will definitely appreciate the film.

    I would love to hear from others who have watched the film.

    Please do post your views here.


    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Folks, if you plan on watching the Hindi version avoid seeing the English original to retain some element of surprise.

    • avynne   October 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      “Be Afraid. Be very Afraid”

      The caption seems to be hackneyed.

      Why this lack of originality when it comes to Indian movies, even in these supposedly non-mainstream movies?

      It is sick!

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      1. I will request Sonny Chatrath to respond to your ‘sweet’ comment.

      2. But you’ve likely made Sonny Chatrath (one of the actors in 9-Eleven and an advertiser on SI) a very angry man now.

      Don’t blame me, if the Sardar unsheathes his Kirpan upon seeing you. πŸ˜‰

      • schatrath   October 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm

        Let’s hear your take on it, since you are able to detect our lack of originality.

        The only thing you and other like you are capable of doing is criticize others.

        Had this been a Salman Khan movie, you would have been having an orgasm by now.

        I invite you to come and see the reason why our film has won so many awards with actors who have given up Hindi as their main language.

        Tag lines don’t really make or break a movie.

        The scrip demanded a tagline like this.

        You won’t understand till you actually watch the movie.

        I must add, all actors are novices, including myself.

        I had just acted in TV commercials up until “9 Eleven”.

      • avynne   October 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        sorry, it came out wrong.

        Didn’t mean to blame this movie specifically.

        kudos to sonny for making a movie here in US.

        I understand a lot of hard work, resources are needed in making a movie.

        Maybe they didn’t have a lot of budget for promotion and creative ads.

        My main gripe is with Indian movies in general. the lack of original creative ideas and rampant plagiarism. disappointing!

        Wish it is not so.

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        FYI, 9 Eleven is not a lift but an official remake of Nine Dead (which means the producers probably paid something). Better than what Indians do in Bollywood – outright stealing.

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