Bhaag Johnny review: Run as far as you can from this Kunal Khemu movie

The film Bhaag Johnny is quite slick in the technical departments. If only the script was more convincing. Pro tip: run as far as you can from this film.

Gayatri Gauri September 28, 2015 09:20:21 IST
Bhaag Johnny review: Run as far as you can from this Kunal Khemu movie

Somewhere near the beginning of Bhaag Johnny, we see young Johnny (Kunal Khemu) sitting in a plush hotel room in Pattaya, bewildered and helpless, with a gun in hand. Right till the end of the film, he stays that way—Johnny from nowhere, whose only specialty is being able to woo women.

At least his lady boss Ramona Bakshi (Manasi Scott) thinks he has the potential to be Casanova, which is why she has blackmailed him into agreeing to date a young innocent girl, Tanya (Zoa Morani) in Pattaya and kill her.

That simple? Apparently not. There is a seven-foot tall hunk who calls himself Nobody. He has been sent to force Johnny to kill the girl. (It’s a mystery as to why the Nobody can’t do it himself.) So he hulks over Johnny who finds himself being handed a gun at gunpoint.

Bhaag Johnny review Run as far as you can from this Kunal Khemu movie

A still from Bhaag Johnny

After Johnny mulls it over a bit and makes up his mind and picks up the gun to leave the room, someone “appears”. A white haired man with a stick is seen sitting on a chair. He is Vikram Bhatt (also the co-writer) and he calls himself a genie. He says he has been sent by an astrologer with special powers.

Genie offers Johnny 72 hours to live two lives simultaneously. In one life, he kills the girl and sees the consequences. In the other, he saves the girl. At the end of 72 hours, he can decide which life he wants to live.

Trying to scramble Run Lola Run with Rashomon is ambitious. Considering director Shivam Nair’s credits include the film Ahista Ahista (2006) and the television series, Sea Hawks, one might say he’s being foolhardy. Bhaag Johnny is quite slick in technical departments. If only the script was more convincing.

While Johnny runs for his life in both lives, he overcomes the hurdles he faces too easily. The fights end as soon as they begin. Romance blooms just as simply between Johnny and Tanya in one life and between Johnny and an Embassy representative, Rachel (Iranian model Mandana Kari) in the other. Neither the action nor the romance is engaging enough for us to care for either Johnny or the choice he’ll have to make. Both Morani and Kari are as boring and frustrating as the cigarette warning advertisements in Mumbai theatres, which is why you can’t blame poor Khemu for hamming through it all.

Eventually, Johnny uncovers some details behind his boss’ motives and Tanya’s Alzheimer-ridden dad appears for a scene. Like Tanya, you will be reduced to tears, but for entirely different reasons. And then, our white haired genie reappears to deliver a moral science lesson.

Pro tip: run as far as you can from this film.

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