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Place your bets on Supari
Sukanya Verma | June 20, 2003 19:51 IST
Supari is the story of four greedy friends -- Aryan (Uday Chopra), Chicken (Purab Kohli), Mushi (Akash Saigal) and Papad (Rahul Dev) -- good-for-nothings who loiter in the college canteen instead of attending lectures.
Self-centred Aryan swindles money off his naïve buddy Dilnawaaz (Nauheed Cyrusi) and blows it up with his cronies on beer and club hopping.
Although Aryan and co, barring Papad, are strictly lower middle-class, their lifestyle is on par with the rich and the swanky.
The foursome dream of big bucks, girls and red Ferraris, but don't want to work hard to get them.
Life changes when they decide to bet big over a game of cricket, on the insistence of a match fixer. Now, they owe club owner and lady gangster Mamta Shekari (Nandita Das) a whopping Rs 5 lakhs (Rs 500,000).
Mamta makes them an offer they can't refuse -- hit, run and grab your booty. Her consigliore, Baba (Irrfan, last seen in Haasil), teaches Aryan, Chicken, Mushi and Papad the art of killing and spilling blood, while Mamta eloquently waxes on the philosophy of crime, fear and death.
Chicken soon realises blood is a big expense. Overcome by hysteria, he shoots himself.
Dilnawaaz, too, finds herself the unlikely target of a shootout.
Aryan has a change of heart when he helps a lady in labour. It dawns upon him that creation is superior to destruction and he wants out.
For Papad and Mushi, killing is nothing personal, it is strictly business.
As Aryan retreats into Dilnawaaz's arms, his cronies pull him back in.
Till Chicken's suicide, Supari maintains a tight grip over the audience. Thereon, the film begins to slacken.
Director Padam Kumar's confusion on how to end the film is apparent: characters die abruptly and unimaginatively.
Unlike Ram Gopal Varma's Satya or Company, Supari fails to offer a realistic depiction of the underworld. Nor is the transformation of the four lead characters from losers to sinners convincing.
On an emotional level, Supari strikes a chord with its audience. Nandita Das may not look like a traditional don, but the cruelty in her heavy, kohl-lined eyes and the coldness in her disposition is menacing.
Uday Chopra is good, especially in the scene after he commits his first murder. Half-baked subplots involving Rahul Dev and Akash Saigal handicap their characters to an extent. Purab Kohli comes up with a spontaneous performance in his brief role. For her debut film, Nauheed oozes confidence and reminds you of Preity Zinta in Dil Se..
Supari is worth watching for its crisp editing by Sanjay Verma, great visuals by T Ramji and Velraj (the song Tujhe chand chaiye is beautifully shot against the dry backdrop of Bhuj in Gujarat) and well-written dialogues by Sutapa Sikdar. What's more, the film has only two complete songs and a couple of others that play in the background.
If you are looking for some dishoom-dishoom on a rainy afternoon, place your bets on Supari.
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