Review Hindi

Genius review: This overlong, nonsensical ride is anything but

Release Date: 24 Aug 2018


Cinestaan Rating

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  • Direction:
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  • Story:

Keyur Seta

Utkarsh Sharma's launch can best be enjoyed for its unintentional hilarity. 

Quite a few well-known filmmakers have launched their sons in action entertainers of late. Suneel Darshan launched son Shiv in Karle Pyaar Karle (2014). Then Mustan of Abbas-Mustan fame did the same for son Mustafa Burmawala with Machine (2017). Now, Utkarsh Sharma has been launched by Anil Sharma, not just in, but also as Genius.

Genius revolves around Vasudev Shastri (Utkarsh Sharma). His parents were killed in communal riots when he was a child. He grows up to be a happy-go-lucky youngster who is a master at everything he tries.

Vasudev enters IIT Roorkee and falls for the beautiful Nandini (Ishita Chauhan). Meanwhile, he gets a chance to serve his country by working for the R&AW, the country's external intelligence agency. But this brings him face-to-face with the dreaded terrorist MRS (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who works for Pakistan's ISI from India.

Put simply, Genius shows a complete disregard for any kind of sensibility in storytelling, characterizations or dialogues. The story takes a new turn every few minutes. And every twist in the tale has only one goal: to prove what a genius Vasudev is.

The film's tiring 164 minutes are saddled with tons of proof. Here are 10 examples:

  • Vasudev stands first in the IIT entrance exam. After he joins Roorkee, we realize he is more talented than his professors. He needs just one click on his phone to hack his professor’s phone. He might as well have joined as the dean.
  • Vasudev can tell at a glance if a button on someone’s shirt is woven from a different thread than the others.
  • Vasudev starts working for the R&AW as a freelance while still a student. The R&AW officers urge him to join full time. Apparently, India’s spy agency has none like Vasudev.
  • Vasudev makes senior R&AW officers look like interns. In an act sure to gladden the hearts of bhakts, he derives all his scientific knowledge by studying the Vedas.
  • The young man stops his girl from leaving the city by hacking road signals. Of course we learn later that she wasn't the only reason: he wanted to stop a couple of terrorists from escaping.
  • When Vasudev enters the Brain Olympics contest, he reveals he was actually playing the Heart Olympics. Uh?
  • To give his girl a chance to top the exams, Vasudev writes just one line on his answer sheet, “Rank mei kya rakha hai? Jeevan ka asli aadhaar prem hai [What’s in a rank? Life’s biggest support is love]."
  • Before defusing a bomb, Vasudev sees in his mind's eye how a blast would look at that place. Why? To motivate himself to do the job.
  • He runs like crazy after a minister's convoy, putting his life in danger, just to inform him that the flag on his car is upside down. Of course, the public applauds.
  • Vasudev does not kill the dangerous MRS because that would deprive him of more opportunities to prove his genius. Duh!

Utkarsh Sharma lacks the acting chops needed to play a lead role, let alone such an over-the-top character. He also looks too young, really stretching credulity when he is shown bashing up a host of terrorists.

Genius is that rare film where even an ace like Nawazuddin Siddiqui looks like a dud. The regular errors with his lip-synch only make matters worse.

Ishita Chauhan, also making her debut, has clearly been signed on just for her pretty face. Excellent veterans like Mithun Chakraborty and KK Raina are wasted.

The only silver lining here is Himesh Reshammiya’s music. But is that enough to see you through an almost three-hour stream of nonsense?

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