Even if you’ve never read John Grisham’s The Firm or seen the 1993 Tom Cruise-starrer based on it, you’ll spot the twists in Rush long before they arrive. Within the first ten minutes of the film, it’s established that Samar Grover (Emraan Hashmi) is a TV crime reporter, out of a job and with bills to pay. Enter Roger Khanna (Aditya Pancholi), head of an implausible TV channel called Crime 24, who offers Samar a senior position, a new BMW and the illicit attentions of slinky Wharton graduate Lisa Kapoor (Neha Dhupia). Samar joins the channel and ratings soar. But there’s something murky about the way this 24-hour crime channel is always first on the scene..
Rush was directed by Shamin Desai, who died last year (his wife Priyanka completed the film). It’s mildly entertaining in parts, and Gary Shaw’s cinematography is impressive, but the plot’s too predictable and the media-baiting too paranoid for it to develop into anything significant. As the morally malleable Samar, Hashmi is smooth without being arresting. He fares better than Pancholi, who seems to be playing a parody of a playboy villain. Dhupia and Sagarika Ghatge are the token vamp and girlfriend (there’s an unintentionally hilarious stay-away-from-my-man scene). There are a few scattered laughs – the channel’s head of security is called Cujo – and the second half has split screens and a screeching Skrillex-like background score to try and get some adrenalin flowing. But even when it does, it’s never a real rush.
This review appeared in Time Out Delhi.