With his debut film SEHAR in 2005, director Kabeer Kaushik made a fine start as it was indeed a promising thriller revolving around the police officials. Though he didn’t come out with anything great in his next ventures but still I was excited to see his MAXIMUM since the director had once again chosen the same genre of a Crime Thriller similar to his debut film supported by an interesting talented star cast.
However after watching it, I was once again disappointed as the film couldn’t deliver what it promised through its promos and publicity campaign. MAXIMUM fails to make a solid impact mainly because it keeps revolving around the same overused plot of Encounter Specialists & their two way links with the criminals and the politicians. Hindi Cinema has already seen a pure masterpiece made on the same subject directed by Shimit Amin with the title “Ab Tak Chhappan” featuring Nana Patekar. Now if compared to this famous gem, MAXIMUM falters at many places in its uninspiring screenplay despite of having some commendable performances from the cast.
Admittedly the basic theme of the film is marginally different from the usual as here we get to see the professional rivalry between two encounter specialists only fighting with each other while being in the same department. So the tension is not really between the police and the underworld, but its actually between the two police officials themselves. Besides the title MAXIMUM rightly point outs towards the unbelievable kind of POWER enjoyed by the people sitting at the top. It’s a symbolic kind of title trying to say that everyone is just willing to get the maximum power in his hands to rule on others. And that’s what makes the whole game ugly, brutal and deadly.
The story of the film travels from 2003 to 2008 also covering the 26/11 Mumbai Attack. But it never tends to hit hard, engross or surprise the viewer with any sharp twist in its few well shot sequences. It starts calmly and maintains the same pace throughout without any great build up in its script to reach the climax. As a result, one only feels having watched some decent performances in a non-entertaining film made on a potential plot but nothing more than that. It has characters based on few real life personalities but doesn’t have a well written screenplay with enough content to keep the viewer absorbed.
Sonu Sood visibly tries hard but he is too smart (looks wise) to play a cunning encounter specialist. No doubt he gives a fine performance as the tough cop but Nasseruddin Shah as his rival certainly leaves a stronger impact. Surprisingly Nasser gets only few scenes in the script and those too without any clap worthy dialogues as such. So against all indications given by its promos, the film doesn’t have any great confronting scenes between the two actors ignited with some fiery lines. In the supporting cast, Vinay Pathak (thankfully not in a comic role), Mohan Agashe and Amit Sadh are fine in their respective portrayals. Ujjwal Chopra, Swanand Kirkire & Rajendra Gupta (with his delightful insights on life) could have delivered much more with some extra focus whereas Arya Babbar continues trying to overplay in his cameo. In the female team, Anjana Sukhani has nothing to do in the script or probably her role was simply chopped off (as it seems) since there were reports of her character being inspired from a known actress. Conversely Neha Dhupia once again is a revelation in her subtle, sober and deglamorised role of a housewife and she perfectly looks the same.
Musically the subject had no scope of any songs, still we have the usual item number inserted here ‘Aa Ante Amlapuram”, which has successfully managed to grab some attention on the channels. Plus the background score continues to impress throughout, with soft piano notes superbly incorporated in the arrangement without any extra noisy insertions. So the few well shot sequences of the film (like the climax) get perfectly supported by the Cinematography and Background Music department, which surely should be considered as an achievement by the team.
Overall MAXIMUM doesn’t really give you the content promised by its promotional campaign. It does have some good performances and few well directed sequences depicting a slightly different plot. But with an uninteresting script lacking the much required pace, one majorly feels like being “Not Served” in the end while walking out of the theater.