Drive, which released on Netflix last year, starred Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez in lead roles. It was directed by Tarun Mansukhani.
Starting from India Gate, crossing Chhatarpur to a third far-off location, a race is taking place at the heart of New Delhi, infamous for its perpetual traffic jams.
Gears are set in and zoom goes the drivers, covering this never-ending distance in the blink of an eye. Of course, our leading lady Jacqueline Fernandez wins this fictitious and fictional race, steps out of the car in a thigh-high slit skirt, high heels and a top with a plunging neckline to celebrate the moment. For a good two minutes, we see Jacqueline show off her smooth hair and curves, with the car as her prop in the background.
We get it. She is sexy, but director Tarun Mansukhani thinks his audience won’t understand the subtext. So, he has a side character spew it out for us, “Samajh nahi aata, tum zayada sexy ho ya tumhari driving.”
Drive starts on this unconvincing note and becomes more improbable thereafter. A gang of thieves, headed by Tara (Jacqueline), hatches a plan, engineered by Arjun (Sushant Singh Rajput), to rob black money stored in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
To be honest, even if implausible, the plot feels fresh on paper. We have seen Danny Ocean chalk out convincing plans to rob a casino with his team of well-equipped thieves. Tarun takes things a bit further and decides to rob the President’s home. Sure, why not?
We thought maybe, just maybe, Tarun, who is also the writer of the film, has penned a believable, if not extraordinary, heist in Drive. We couldn’t be more wrong.
Drive goes off track right when the team starts planning the robbery. To enter the Rashtrapati Bhavan, they have to get permits from 64 departments, which they manage to get in 24 hours. And like a walk in the park, the team enters and exits Rashtrapati Bhavan multiple times before the robbery, without so much as being recognised.
And then there is a master thief named King in between, who leaves his mark and a clue to his next robbery, every time he steals from someone. The end result, a tasteless mix of Ocean’s Eleven and Dhoom 2.
What makes the film more bizarre is the CGI effects used in place of actual car racing. This makes the film look cheap and nothing more than a bad video game.
In between all this ruckus, we see Sushant Singh Rajput as a glimmer of hope. In the film, he is excited to pull off the biggest heist of the country, as he flashes that million-dollar smile for his audience.
The scene where he calls a policeman and tricks him into abandoning his car makes us laugh-out-loud. Not minding the senselessness of the film, Sushant lets us know he is having fun and he wants us to do the same.
Before Drive, Sushant proved his mettle with remarkable performances in films like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Kai Po Che, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Shuddh Desi Romance and more. Drive doesn’t even come close to Sushant’s other films. The actor, however, didn’t let that show in his performance in this Dharma Productions film. He played his part with much conviction and enthusiasm and gave his fans one more film to cherish.
Unfortunately, Drive was Sushant’s last film (Chhichhore released before Drive and is his last theatre release) before he breathed his last on June 14. His next, Dil Bechara, is yet to hit the screens. We have another chance to see this untamed actor come alive on screen, just one more time.