The only reason that made me wait for Maximum was the fact that it was directed by Kabeer Kaushik. Kabeer Kaushik is the same person who gave us one of the most sublime cop saga of our time, “Sehar”. I didn’t do much on the box office; neither did it have big names to its credit but I still remember watching it at least 10 times at least on home video. His subsequent venture “Chamku” though no match for “Sehar” was entertaining if not enlightening. However with Maximum, Kabeer has taken a plunge and unfortunately for us moviegoers, it in the wrong direction.
We have seen movies about cop gangster conflict before. We have seen movies about good cop bad cop but in Maximum, Kabeer Kaushik introduces a new concept of rivalry between two cop faction for achieving the ultimate power and control over the city of Mumbai at a time when the city is at the heat of political action. Two cops Pandit (Sonu Sood) and Inamdar (Naseeruddin Shah) battle it out for control over the ongoing proceedings aided by their respective factions. This battle though very soon turns into an ugly cat and mouse game and both the cops end up losing more than they had bargained for.
The basic premise is set up nicely but the movie starts to drag after the initial 30 minutes or so when the audience realizes that we are being fed the same stuff repeatedly. The story doesn’t seem to be reaching anywhere and there is very little happening on the screen. The plot should have had enough meat to fill up the rather short runtime with sparkling proceedings and epic clashes between the two warring factions both in both drama as well as action. But Maximum falls horrendously short in this department.
Maximum would have been a much lesser movie had it not been for the performance of Sonu Sood. He is truly a revelation. He looks and acts like a champion. In some of the dramatic scenes, he breathes fire through his eyes. Playing a character who speaks less, Sonu had to put in some real effort to make the dramatic scenes works and they do. Naseeruddin Shah has a somewhat supporting role to Sonu and he does deliver it with aplomb but as the script would have it, he doesn’t have much to do. Vinay Pathak essays a role different from his usual comic acts and does just as good. Neha Dhupia does well in her Desi Biwi act.
Overall, Maximum is a huge disappointment. Coming at a time when people still have Gangs of Wasseypur fresh in their memory, it will sink without a trace.