Uneasy Money

SANKAT CITY REVOLVES around a motley group of petty crooks who dream of making easy money but find themselves caught in a tangled web.

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Published: Tue 21 Jul 2009, 9:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:32 PM

The rogues include a car thief (Kay Kay Menon), a garage owner (Dilip Prabhavalkar), a con woman (Rimi Sen), a gangster (Anupam Kher), a film producer (Manoj Pahwa), a flop actor (Chunkey Pandey), and a builder (Yashpal Sharma). The trouble begins when the car thief steals a Mercedes and finds a crore of rupees inside it. Soon, all and sundry are out to hoodwink each other to get their hands on the loot.

Led by the always reliable Kay Kay Menon who’s immensely watchable, there are deft performances from most of the cast. Anupam Kher and Yashpal Sharma are particularly impressive but there’s a surprise package in the form of Rimi Sen, who does a neat job of the sassy con woman with a conscience. Dilip Prabhavalkar as the forgetful garage owner has his moments too. Chunkey Pandey, seen in every second film these days, does well in a double role.

A black comedy about a group of people struggling to survive even if they have to resort to jiggery-pokery to realise their dreams, Sankat City unravels its story through nooks and alleys, shady hotels, gangster hideouts and sprawling garbage dumps. The characters feel real, and are interlinked, and while this is intriguing, it does get confusing at times. The nod to Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron is unmistakable, and while no one can resist a wacky plotline embellished with madcap situations, it has to be told well. Timing and spontaneity are everything, and despite the valiant efforts of the cast, the jokes and gags don’t always work. Indeed we could have done with more chuckles and less chaos.

Still, there’s a method to the madness and that’s what keeps us going for much of the 12 reels. Despite the inconsistencies, tacky production values and average music, debutant writer-director Pankaj Advani’s tribute to Mumbai is worth a look for some zany moments and the collective efforts of a talented ensemble cast.

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