Emnraan Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary
With Why Cheat India, the only person who Soumik Sen has cheated is himself. He has cheated himself of a chance to make a brilliant film - instead what he gives us is a half-baked dream of a brilliant idea with no execution…
Cheat India is about a selfish man’s mission to get wealthy whichever way he can deem possible, even if that means cheating innocent children of a decent future. He is Rakesh Singh (Emraan Hasmi) a man who is shown single-handedly disciplining goons, when he himself is luring children into criminal offenses. It is serendipity (where Rakesh aka Rocky is concerned) that he meets Satyandra (Snighadeep Chatterjee) - a brilliant engineering student.
Rocky starts luring Sattu into a lucrative though criminal curve in his life, when he starts helping students with the entrance examinations for engineering and other professional courses. Rocky and Sattu have an odd synergy, while Rocky is thriving on Sattu’s intelligence while feasting on his integrity, Sattu thinks Rocky to be a demigod of sorts. Soon, this synergy is doomed. It is Sattu’s sister, Nupur (Shreya Dhanwanthary) who seeks out Rocky and what starts is a love-angle when it could have totally been avoided.
We are not going to get into the story, because it does seem like Soumik Sen himself didn’t bother much with it. To give you a gist, Emraan Hasmi is the anti-hero who lacks the gumption to embrace his villainy and ends up looking like a me-too version of Michael Dougal’s famous Gordon Gekko portrayal in Wall Street. He manipulates and he isn’t even apologetic, he is tedious in his oversmartness and yet, he is the only selling point of the film, so he cannot be all bad! As ridiculous as that sounds, it is far less iffy as compared to the script Sen worked with.
Based on a real person called Ranjit Don, Emraan Hashmi plays Rakesh Singh adequately. There is nothing you can fault in his depiction of the character, but the characterisation itself is faulty. To begin with, he is flexing him biceps on goons, which is so not required, he is already married and also has a girlfriend and yet, there is Shreya Dhanwanthary who is supposed to forget all about her brother and fall in love with him! WHY?
The entire film makes you think of how one-fine-morning this Gulab Gang director woke up with an idea and decided, he needed to make it before he loses the chance to direct a feature film! Throughout Why Cheat India, you see Soumik Sen leaving large hints about his sense and sensibility as a director, he borrows from many regional films (particularly Bengali), right from the way Emraan looks to the dialogues of the film. Unfortunately, not all his influences compliment the film which is hara-kiri by laziness.
Through out the course of Why Cheat India, Sen has juggled Emraan’s playboy image and Sen’s own Satyajit Ray hangover! There are so many bloopers, in terms of the story-line itself, which Sen takes sole credit for, it makes one wonder why he was in such a tearing hurry to make this film, in such a haphazard manner! Clearly the man is no Rohit Shetty, who can churn blockbusters within a month from the courtyard of his Goa home, then why not give the idea its due course to germinate into a film? Instead Sen serves songs that are mediocre and a film that preaches a one-line sermon over 121 minutes of running time.