Paresh C Palicha says Cowboy, a remake of Shah Rukh Khan's Baadshah is not at all exciting.
A lot was expected from actor Asif Ali after he made his big screen début a few years back in the Shyamaprasad directed Ritu. But his choice of films after that shocked audiences.
Cowboy can be added to the list. It is a copy of Johnny Depp's Nick of Time (1995) that was later adapted in Hindi as the comedy Baadshah (1999), starring Shah Rukh Khan.
Cowboy, directed by P Balachandrakumar, tries to remain faithful to the Hollywood original, which was a thriller. It begins as a family drama keeping in mind our so-called Indian sensibilities.
Vinay (Asif Ali), is regarded as an irresponsible young man by his family, because he lives in Kuala Lumpur where he runs a pub called Cowboy.
His father (Kalasala Babu) feels that the pub is a blot on the family's name. Vinay's brother-in-law Mohan (Irshad) shares the same sentiments. The only person in the family who likes Vinay is his young nephew. The young boy dotes on his uncle.
That is the family drama part. Now, the thriller part. Vinay and his nephew leave to pick up the boy's parents from the airport. On the way, they get the news that the flight is delayed. Here a song intervenes that takes us on a sightseeing tour of the city.
The story gets into Nick of Time territory when Vinay’s nephew is held hostage by one Xavier (Bala), who says he is an Indian police officer. Xavier wants Vinay to kill someone staying in the hotel in the next two hours in exchange for his nephew’s life.
For the next hour or so, we see Vinay trying to dodge the surveillance of Xavier and his team and seek help. Slowly it is revealed that the target is none other than India's Foreign Minister Revathi Menon (Khushboo), and the people wishing to see her dead are from her inner circle.
The high voltage drama is not enacted in an exciting manner. The actors seem to be going about their job as it is written on paper without adding anything of their own to their performances.
Asif, who is super-confident in the beginning, becomes a meek man later. Bala, with his hair dyed a golden hue, does not feel menacing enough.
Khushboo does have an aristocratic presence, but she hasn't got the screen time to do something significant.
On the whole it’s a boring film.