films, launch of potential stars, Abbas-Mustan have done it all. From Shah Rukh Khan’s career-defining Baazigar to Akshay Kumar’s first commercial success Khiladi, the duo have always left their mark. Sleek editing, countless twists and glossy texture comprise the trademark Abbas-Mustan style that ruled the suspense-thriller genre in Bollywood for so many years. Yet they failed miserably when it came to the launch of Mustafa, Abbas’ son. Not only this, Machine might be the worst film of their filmography.
In what can be called the skeleton of a story, college boy Ransh (Mustafa) meets rich father Balraj Thapar’s (Ronit Roy) emotionally weak daughter Sarah (Kiara Advani). They fall in love and get married, but don’t live happily ever after.
Meanwhile, half a dozen people get killed for reasons best known to the directors. Somehow they thought they would be able to connect the dots and make Machine a coherent story. Alas, that doesn’t happen and Machine becomes as discreet as its opening credit, which shows a camera entering a human ear and reaching heart through abstractly imagined ear canal.
This is just the beginning of a film, which delves into Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Steve Jobs’ philosophies for no apparent reasons.
There is a lot to ponder about in between.
For example, Kiara Advani’s bonding with her tormentor, inexplicable twin brother and absolutely unfathomable murder theories etc. Sometimes they get so weird that you prepare yourself to hear that this all is a big joke. That would have at least gave you the solace that you haven’t got it wrong. Had they released it on April Fool’s Day, Machine would have been considered a perfect practical prank.