No matter what other failings of which Kidnap may stand accused, let it never be said that it made no contribution to the world. A melody so meaningful that it can only be watched, not described, arose from this B-grade suspense film. Yes, my friends, this is the song of which I speak:
That’s right, y'all. “This mausam (season or weather) is awesome.” Sure, it’s basically an excuse for Minissha Lamba to loll about in very little clothing while Imran Khan pretends to try not to watch, but hey, the depth of the lyrics excuses all the exposing. Or, you know, not.
Thankfully, that’s the lowest point of the thriller, which really isn’t all that bad. It is B-grade, but I’d still call it B+.
After a (for real) fascinating and original opening credits sequence, in which we see a young boy subjected to the horrors of incarceration, we get a song with Minissha, otherwise known as Sonia. Oh, I guess she can dance, because we see her flaunting her stuff with a bunch of other pretty young things in the street. She’s young (seventeen, bwahahahahaha—sorry) and full of the joy of life! Her mother Mallika (Vidya Malvade) is also young—young enough to have apparently given birth at the age of ten—and lives with her mom, Reema Lagoo (yay!). They argue. Mallika hates Sonia’s dad. Sonia hates Mallika for keeping her from her dad since she was “TEN YEARS OLD.” I put that in caps because apparently it is super important to the plot, since it was repeated TEN THOUSAND TIMES.
Sonia goes for a swim, because what better way to deal with a fight with your mom who never lets you have any fun, ever, because she hates you, even though you totally did not ask to be born? (I tell you, nothing relaxes me more than stripping down to almost nothing, by myself, on a public beach and then wading into pollution-ridden waters.) And then she wakes up. In a boarded-up cottage. With a guy who apparently also packed a succession of sexy outfits for her so she’d feel comfortable locked up with him.
That guy is Kabir (Imran) and he is a man on a mission. What mission, we won’t figure out till intermission. Till then, he is going to torment Sonia’s dad Vikrant (Sanjay Dutt, hooray!) with seemingly random tasks to perform which yield up equally random-seeming clues that will hopefully lead to Sonia’s recovery. Understandably, Vikrant doesn’t necessarily believe that Kabir is a man of his word and enlists the help of a detective, played to Rahul Dev (also yay!) to recover his daughter.
Along the way, we get some reconciliation between spouses, a chance to see Sanju-Baba kick some ass, and a long “homage” to the opening chase scene in Casino Royale. Also some dashes of morality spice.
Things I liked: the performances were good. Imran looked very, um, different from JTYJN, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It was fun seeing him in a more intense avatar. Sanjay Dutt keeps up with him and looks great doing it. Sonia never falls victim to Stockholm Syndrome, which is my veriest pet peeve when it comes to “hot guy kidnaps hot girl for a reason” stories. The script was actually somewhat interesting, delving into the villain’s motivations far more than an average Hindi filmi villain who is just evil—because he just is.
Things I didn’t like: meh. There's a lot of cheesecake, a semi-sexual assault, and some dumb moralizing. Really, it’s not the kind of film where I can get passionate about tearing it apart. It is what it is, and that’s fine with me. It was a decent way to spend two hours, with the exception of the mostly pointless songs. Pritam really brought his "C" game to this soundtrack, by the way, and didn't even bother ripping off interesting melodies. If you like action films and you like Hindi films, this might be an okay timepass. Failing that, you can try Sahil’s much more entertaining comic strip synopsis of the film.