Director: Ashok Kohli
Cast: Leander Paes, Jimmy Sheirgill, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sudhanshu Pande
If you ever happen to watch this film, chances are, you may never travel on a Rajdhani Express. The film which is largely set aboard the premium train only berates it as an express where passengers can openly consume alcohol, coach attendants ask for cigarettes, there is no water in washrooms and it takes almost double the time to complete its journey.
Nevertheless the film is not about the train per se but some passengers traveling on it. Four passengers on a coupe of the train decide to play truth and dare without getting judgmental about each other. But the makers precisely get judgmental about the characters they create. Thereby a Bollywood item girl doubles up as a prostitute, a fashion designer (Sudhanshu Pande) has to be gay, a film writer (Priyanshu Chatterjee) is essentially a plagiarist and a suspicious man (Leander Paes) who continuously clings to his haversack is tagged as a terrorist.
Renowned tennis player Leander Paes in his acting debut is supposed to symbolize a common man who is troubled by anybody and everybody. At one point, he gets so irritated with his co-passengers that he holds them on gunpoint. Thereafter the train never stops and so does the absurdity.
Much as you might attempt to analyze, the writing and direction is so tacky that you will still be clueless of the happenings. The central idea would have been to show how an innocent man is victimized by bureaucracy for their personal gains. But the execution is so shoddy that it never comes across. Plus the narrative frequently cuts into haphazard and half-baked flashbacks that flow non-chronologically adding to your confusion. The common man protagonist seeks sympathy for everything from being a child-abuse victim to a lovelorn loser - nothing of which has an impact or correlation with the central narrative.
Leander Paes certainly can't act. So he is given no lines in the first 20 minutes. And he keeps endlessly giggling in the last 20 minutes. And whatever he attempts between this, only ends up being unintentionally funny. Priyanshu Chatterjee in a fake Bengali accent hams outrageously but is still bearable as compared to others in the cast. Jimmy Sheirgill doesn't get much scope. Sudhanshu Pande and Gulshan Grover are average. Sayali Bhagat is bad.
Rajdhani Express lacks the drive and the 'pace' to even qualify as being watchable. An absolutely avoidable journey!