Sometime in 2016 is when one first heard of Tarun Mansukhani making an action film, revolving around cars, with Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez. Tarun had made his debut with the much successful ‘Dostana’ (2008) and had followed it up with ‘Koochi Koochi Hota Hai’ (2010), an animated film which never saw the light of the day despite being complete. ‘Drive’ went on the floors in 2017 and is now finally releasing in late 2019 on a digital streaming platform. Since the film was made to be released in theatres and its release date was announced a couple of times, the fact that it was now releasing on a streaming platform attracted a lot of negativity and most people thought the film is being put on an OTT platform simply because it is bad. As it turns out, it is indeed a bad film.
Tara (Jacqueline Fernandez) is the owner of a ‘courier’ company in Delhi which is more like a smuggling unit to transfer illegal goods into and outside the country. Tara, along with her aides Naina (Sapna Pabbi) and Bikki (Vikramjeet Virk), organise street racing in the city. Tara is trying to trace an individual named King who is notorious for carrying out high-profile robberies in the city. King is a threat to them as he is eating up on their business. A mysterious young man named Samar (Sushant Singh Rajput) enters the picture and becomes a part of Tara’s gang. Together, they hatch a plan to rob a large amount of money that is hidden in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The first 15-20 minutes of ‘Drive’ are quite fun and make you wonder why did the makers avoid a theatrical release for the film. You get the answer to the ‘why’ soon enough. After those 15-20 minutes, the film continues to go downhill and finally culminates in one of the worst climaxes for a film in the recent history. The script, written by Mansukhani himself, tries to be smart but ends up being complicated and silly at the same time. The film aims to be a thriller with cars and chase sequences taking centre-stage but ends up falling flat on its face. The film also has some of the worst CGI effects one would have seen in a long time. The effects used in the pre-climax and climactic sequence are the kind that seem to have been made by an entry-level animation student. This clearly shows that Karan Johar had given up on the film after seeing the first cut and did not want to invest in quality VFX as the film, with or without it, was bad enough.
Sushant Singh Rajput looks dapper and plays his part well. This was his first action thriller and it is a shame that he got such a bad film to make his foray into this genre with. Here is hoping he gets a better film to showcase himself as an action hero with. Jacqueline Fernandez looks ravishing and as always, delivers a confident performance. Her performance is, actually, the best of the lot. Sapna Pabbi delivers a good performance and makes one wonder why one does not get to see her enough, especially in films. The actress had done well as a leading lady in ‘Khamoshiyaan’ (2015) and was also a part of Shoojit Sircar’s production ‘Satrah Ko Shaadi Hai’ which, unfortunately, never saw the light of the day. Vikramjeet Virk is decent. Boman Irani and Pankaj Tripathi play their parts well.
‘Drive’ is one of the worst Hindi films to have released this year. One should be grateful that one did not have to go through this torture while sitting a cinema hall.