Mumbai, 18 May 2018 14:28 IST
Updated: 19 May 2018 13:17 IST
Akarsh Khurana's film has the one-liners, but lacks any semblance of a plot, or character graphs to keep you interested in it.
A stoner comedy is often about drug-addled people caught in situations beyond their ability. It is rare that such films are written solely for a drug-addled audience. Akarsh Khurana's High Jack gives the impression of being that rare gem.
Unfortunately named wannabe DJ Rakesh aka Rockesh (Sumeet Vyas), finds out that his New Year's gig in Goa was a hoax, and has no money to save his father's clinic. On his dazed last night in India's Las Vegas, he agrees to deliver a consignment of 'Da Maal' on a flight from Goa to Delhi. His terrible luck ensures that he is on the last flight of a soon-to-be defunct Udaan airline.
Unknown to him, employees of the same airline have decided to collaborate with the security officer (Mantra) to hijack the plane. Top it all of with the plane carrying a cargo of gold biscuits (unnecessary homage to the 1980s).
Akarsh Khurana's filmography includes writing some screen gems like Kites (2010), Krrish 3 (2013) and Humshakals (2014), and he seems to be continuing in the same mode. The film is riddled with jokes and one-liners that would induce facepalms among the most ardent Sajid Khan devotees.
The plot itself is deemed unnecessary mid-way through the first half. Once the drugs take effect (on screen) every semblance of a screenplay is tossed out. One does wonder if the writers went deep down the method road in trying to experience the after-effects in order to write the film. Some scenes in the film feel like the sole purpose of their existence was to provide a scope for Nucleya's music (catchy, to be honest).
This has a damaging effect on some fantastic performers on the cast. Kumud Mishra's turn as the lecherous, hyperbolic Punjabi uncle might just be his worst. Sumeet Vyas is good as the eponymous stoner in this comedy, but there is not enough room for his escape. As the only sober characters on the plane, Mantra and Sonali Seygall look as confused and lost as the audience in the aisles. Seygall tries hard to be more than a pretty face, but as a line in the film goes 'Yaar, tera character ka graph hi nahi hai'.
There are undeniably moments of humour in the film. Situational comedy that works best on a short episode of a web series perhaps. With so many internet stars (Abish Matthew, Sarang Sathaye, Nipun Dharmadhikari and Amey Wagh), Khurana should have taken that option.
But the comedy is often sidetracked by the pointless deviations in plot, and the inexplicable developments. The task of explaining it might require some extra medication as well. After a certain point, your reviewer began to wonder if this was a tragedy reshaped as a comedy. The potential possibility of the realism of the events that unfold scare you.
If an audience does wish to watch High Jack for a change, the reviewer would recommend some strong stuff before. Alcohol won't suffice for this.
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