Movie Recommendation: 99 (2009)

I may be mistaken (and I really hope I am) but the only movie I can think of that deals with treasure and sea in Hindi Cinema is the recently released ‘Blue’, that sank faster than you could sing, ‘Chiggy Wiggy’. So unless Ram Gopal Varma believes in the innocence of Somalian pirates and decides to make a movie on them called ‘NOT A pirate story’, the only Hindi pirate movies could very well be the ‘Samundar ke darinde’ trilogy, the dubbed versions of Pirates of the Caribbean, with Johnny Depp saying ‘Oye hoye’ instead of ‘Ahoy’.

So if there’s a GOOD Hindi film that has anything to do with piracy in recent memory, it would have to be Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s 99 (there’s also the duo’s Shor in the City but in that, Tusshar Kapoor’s character’s book pirating business didn’t really drive the plot).

The film, set in 1999, revolves around two small-time crooks, Sachin and Zaramud (Kunal Khemu and Cyrus Broacha) who are in the business of pirating SIM cards in Mumbai – a business that somehow lands them into the clutches of a loan shark, AGM (Mahesh Manjrekar). AGM makes extortionists out of the duo and sends them to Delhi to extract money from a serial better, Rahul (Boman Irani). One thing leads to another and the duo gets unwittingly involved in the match fixing syndicate and through some hilarious twists and turns, end up bringing it down.

The director duo Raj and Krishna showed immense promise in their debut rom-com ‘Flavours’ but with 99, they stepped it up a notch by delivering fresh, funny and bloody damn smart movie, so that at times you have to pinch yourself to check whether you are actually watching a Hindi movie! The film has a terrific and crazy screenplay that subtly gives tribute to some of the things that were classic ’99, like the advent of mobile phones and cyber cafes, the Y2K fear and the world cup mania, and weaves in a fast-paced and hilarious story about the wrong people at the wrong time around them.

With a treatment so international, dialogues so witty and situations so crazy, 99 is a must watch, especially if you think Delhi Belly is path-breaking cinema. But mostly because Amit Mistry’s scene-stealing Bhuval Ram Kuber pwns DK Bose’s a** any day! Arr!

Starring: Kunal Khemu, Cyrus Broacha, Soha Ali Khan, Boman Irani, Amit Mistry, Vinod Khanna
Written By: Krishna DK, Raj Nidimoru, Sita Menon, Chintan Gandhi, Raja Sen
Directed By: Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru

Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, September 2011 issue
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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