I went to Taxi 9211 with great hopes. My favourite critic happens to be a guy called Rajeev Masand, who hosts his weekly Friday review on a channel called CNN-IBN. I like Rajeev because he comes across as a critic like us, a common man looking for the simple joys of life in movies. His likes and dislikes are very similar to mine, and he looks for the same fantastic pleasures and common sense as I do.
Now, Rajeev had given Taxi a glushing review to the flick. Check it out on the following link: http://www.ibnlive.com/article.php?id=5904§ion_id=8
So I had great expectations from the movie, and I cannot say it did not live up to it. The best thing which works for the film is its length, at just about two hours it is perfect. I can think of a lot of movies which would have worked much better if they had followed the Hollywood format in terms of length. One definitely which comes to mind is Daud made by Ramu, another one is possibly last year's Bunty aur Babli.
The premise of the movie is fairly simple, a foul-mouthed-&-tempered taxi-driver Raghav Shastry (Nana Patekar) gives a ride to a rich spoilt brat Jai (John Abraham). Nana has been a loser all his life - chucking up jobs, being in debt, not allowing his wife to work and yet hiding from her that he is a taxi-driver. Moreover, he is in immediate need of Rs. 30000 to settle off the debt of the owner of his cab. On the other hand, John is the only son of a rich industrialist who has died, but he was disinherited by his father because of his wayward ways. John is out to get his dad's property of Rs. 300 crores by producing a fake will, which might pass muster in the courts. John takes a ride with Nana to the courts (as he has banged his big car the previous night in a drunken stupor), and his constant nagging to Nana to speed up ensures that they have an accident. The movie unfolds from there, as to how develop a hatred for each other because of the accident, and even try and kill in revenge. The antagonism is further accentuated by their similar requirements for money, though for different amounts, and their great economic divide. Still, in the end, in a rather cliched but acceptable turnaround, both realise how their short-tempered avengeful temparaments are so similar, and then end up helping each other.
I sincerely believe Nana Patekar is a fantabulous actor. His overall personality helps him play these eccentric characters quite well, and he does a superb job of it. His wife is played by Sonali Kulkarni, and she is also quite good if not great. John Abraham is a fairly competent actor, although I think in some scenes where he has to lose his cool, he goes over the top. The remaining cast performs their respective roles okay. Sameera Reddy plays John's girlfriend who is with him only for his money, and she manages to look sufficient 'babeish' for the dude John.
The music of the film is also catchy. Thankfully, there are not too many intrusions into the movie for songs, and the story rarely loses pace and grip. Overall, it would be difficult to feel bad after seeing Taxi, but the happiness also would not stay very long with you. It is an extremely temporary phenomena, in a way quite similar to the Director Milan Luthria's madien directorial effort Kachchey Dhaage.