First, the good news – Rush has an interesting plot and great detailing, the latter unusual in Bollywood. Such detailing – irregularly placed photos in Samar (Hashmi) and girlfriend Ahana’s (Ghatge) home, favourite coffee mugs from which media tycoon-types sip their whisky, a T-shirt cheekily promising ‘Endless Vacation’ landing a billionaire in jail – add heft to this tale. Crime journalist Samar loses his job over a ‘shooter ka shocking sach’ from hired gun Prince (Sharma). Sam’s seduced into joining ‘Crime-24’, owned by Roger Khanna (Pancholi – looking fresher than he has in decades, making money from, as he says, ‘kir-minals’ merrily ‘voi-lating’ rules), run by Lisa Kapur (Dhupia) offering him crores – if Sam doesn’t broadcast how crimes Crime-24 ‘breaks’ are actually committed in-house.
But sacha Sam rejects Crime-24 – and all hell breaks loose, Ahana (who sells paintings with the helpful tip, “It’ll look beautiful in the house”) abducted with killers dispatched to pack-up Sam. How Sam fights back forms Rush’s fun, as do moments like a boss shouting, “This is a news channel, not an old age home!”, policemen visibly annoyed with pesky reporters asking if they’re letting off andhere mein teer, even Pancholi mouthing cliches about how dus mein se aath log sitar-vaadan nahin, triple murder dekhna chahte hain.
But there’s bad news too – no amount of lip gloss, nor shiny suits can hide poor acting, which Rush features plenty of. Not one actor bites fully into their role, Hashmi mostly mechanical, the ladies lovely but blank. You fully empathise when Sam, shooting for a breakfast cereal ad, is pleadingly told by the director, “Sir, please, more feeling ke saath!” In the second half, Hashmi does wade into the deeper end, exposing a criminal-media nexus – but after too much waffling with cliches, it’s too little, too late.
Still, while not the relentless thriller it could’ve been, Rush offers some slick seconds – the tie-tweaking Sam’s face evolving from reporting news to becoming it, Gurgaon’s glitz, Pahargunge’s grunge, Dhupia’s luscious trenches and form-fitted skirts. But despite all that, Rush lacks zip – plus, Hashmi doesn’t kiss.
So much for adrenalin, dude.
Ambitious Samar joins a crime-news channel as top gun – to discover his employers committing crimes. Can Sam rush away?