Johnny Gaddaar

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Johnny Gaddaar
JohnnyGaddaar.jpg
Directed by Sriram Raghavan
Written by Sriram Raghavan
Starring Dharmendra
Neil Nitin Mukesh
Rimi Sen
Vinay Pathak
Zakir Hussain
Ashwini Khalsekar
Govind Namdeo
Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Cinematography C.K. Muraleedharan
Edited by Pooja Ladha Surti
Production
  company
Adlabs Films Ltd.
Distributed by Adlabs Films Ltd.
Release date(s)
  • 28 September 2007 (2007-09-28)
Running time 120 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Box office INR6.7 crore (US$1.1 million)

Johnny Gaddaar (Hindi: जॉनी गद्दार), (meaning Johnny the Traitor in English) is a 2007 neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Sriram Raghavan; produced under the banner Adlabs. It stars Neil Mukesh, in his film debut, alongside Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain, Rimi Sen, Vinay Pathak, Govind Namdeo, Dayanand Shetty and Ashwini Khalsekar. The film received critical acclaim.,[1][2] went on to be 'sleeper hit' of the year [3] and was later remade in Telugu[4] and Malayalam in 2012.

Plot[edit]

The film starts out on a rainy night with a conversation between 4 cops in a van, patrolling the streets. A car narrowly misses colliding into them on the road, brakes and then continues on towards a house with iron gates. A man in a jacket gets out from the car, opens the garage door and is shot from behind multiple times.

The entire movie is then shown as a flashback, building up to the present shooting, a tool used numerous times in the film when the story goes back and forth between the flashback and flashbacks within the flashback.

The story is about a gang of five that run a gambling club and conduct other underhand deals. The five members are Vikram (Neil Nitin Mukesh), Seshadri (Dharmendra), Shardul (Zakir Hussain), Prakash (Vinay Pathak) and Shiva (Dayanand Shetty). When one of Seshadri's police contacts from Bangalore, Kalyan (Govind Namdeo) promises him "French furniture" (code word for drugs) worth Rs. 5 crores for Rs. 2.5 crores, Seshadri calls for all 5 members to contribute Rs. 50 Lakh each to set the deal in motion. Based on Shardul's promise of being able to sell the furniture for more than Rs. 5 crore, each member anticipates a profit of a further Rs. 50 lakh each, at least.

Shiva is to take the money to Bangalore by train. Vikram plans to take all the money by making Shiva unconscious using Chloroform poison. In the pretext of going to Goa for business work, he goes about his plot, driving to Pune where he uses the name Johnny G. But plans go wrong and Vikram has to kill Shiva who has just seen his face before going unconscious. Now Sheshadri, Kalyan, Prakash, Shardul, in turn and individually, find out Vikram's crime and are killed by him. Finally, Vikram is killed by Prakash's wife who mistakes him for Shardul, who she believed was Prakash's killer.

Tribute and reference[edit]

In the opening credits the movie is dedicated to legendary Indian Cinema director Vijay Anand and writer James Hadley Chase. The film is a tribute to Vijay Anand's influence on the Hindi noir/thriller genre. It pays tribute to him in a scene in which Anand's movie Johny Mera Naam is being watched by a character. At the lobby of a hotel room, the receptionist is seen watching Vijay Anand's movie Johnny Mera Naam, starring Dev Anand. It is from the scene of that movie that this one gets its title.[5] When the female lead is introduced she is reading R.K. Narayan's The Guide, which was later made into a movie directed by Vijay Anand, starring Dev Anand.

While the story is not based on any of James Hadley Chase's novels, it does follow a similar plot line. There are numerous references to James Hadley Chase within the film, the lead character himself is seen holding a copy of one of Chase's books. Director Sriram Raghavan has presented the same genre in his previous venture Ek Hasina Thi also.

The film also makes multiple references to Amitabh Bachchan classic Parwaana and also shows scenes of a major plot sequence of the movie.

There are multiple tributes to the actor Dharmendra himself. While dying, Dharmendra plays the song " Mera Gora Rang Le Le" - his character's favourite song sung by the character's wife in the movie, which is from his movie Bandini in which played in the movie. They are from Yakeen, Aadmi Aur Insaan and Naya Zamana.

There are a couple of references to Hollywood movies too, for example when Shiva is introduced in the movie, he's watching Stanley Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut. And Dharmendra's line "It's not the age. It's the mileage" echoes a line from the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Apart from the note-counting scene obviously inspired from Scarface, there is a reference to Titanic as well as Citizen Kane in the scene where the female lead is assembling a huge jigsaw puzzle.

The color Red is used predominantly in the movie, as a homage to Sin City. Raghavan himself had confessed wanting to shoot the whole film in Black and White.

But the main game, is Raghavan's main inspiration of the plot was not Vijay Anand's film Johny Mera Naam, but instead is adapted from Stanley Kubrick's film noir classic The Killing (film). Raghavan employs a rope-a-dope by implying that his movie as a tribute to Vijay Anand and also adding in James Hadley Chase as distraction, while in fact the similarities in the plot elements like the ex-conman character, the cheating wife and no-one escape climax are not coincidental. The only stark difference is that Kubrick's Johnny isn't the gaddar (the traitor).

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Johnny Gaddaar
Soundtrack album by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Released August 25, 2007
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 61:11
Language Hindi
Tamil
Telugu
Label
Producer Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Adlabs
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy chronology
Marigold: An Adventure in India
(2007)
Johnny Gaddaar
(2007)
Taare Zameen Par
(2007)

The film has fifteen songs and two remixes composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy (soundtrack) and Daniel B George (score), with lyrics by Jaideep Sahni. The album was met with high critical acclaim upon its release. The soundtrack was co produced by composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Adlabs, which is first of its kind in the history of Bollywood.[6] The album was released on 13 September 2007 at IMAX, Wadala, Mumbai. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Dharmendra, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sriram Raghavan were present at the launch among others.[7]

Director Sriram Raghavan approached S-E-L to score a single for the film. As they were discussing, Ehsaan came up with a riff which Sriram felt fits the theme of the movie, which then turned out to be the title song "Johnny Gaddaar". Then they decided to go for another song, which was to be picturized in a club setting. Sriram wanted it to have an early 70's feel, along the lines of the famous R.D. Burman song, "Duniya Main". Hence they jammed and came up with the second track, the rich and vibrant "Dhoka". Sriram had seen rapper Hard Kaur on TV and was impressed with her. So he asked her and the trio to jam together, and they came up with the final song of the album, "Move Your Body".[8] The album includes Tamil and Telugu versions of the tracks "Johnny Gaddaar" and "Move Your Body".

Tracklist
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Johnny Gaddaar"   Suraj Jagan, Akriti Kakkar 04:59
2. "Move Your Body"   Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa, Hard Kaur 03:33
3. "Dhoka"   Anousha Mani, Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa 04:10
4. "Johnny In The House"   Dj. Shane 06:45
5. "Move Your Body (Phatt Mix)"   Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa, Hard Kaur 04:28
6. "Johnny Breakbeat Mera Naam"   Gulraj Singh 03:29
7. "Revenge Of The 70's"   Instrumental 02:25
8. "The Caper Begins"   Sukhwinder Singh, Shilpa Rao 04:14
9. "Toss"   Instrumental 01:11
10. "Confidence"   Instrumental 02:05
11. "Bhule Bisre Geet"   Sabiha Khan, Geetanjali, Swanand 06:01
12. "Johnny Gaddaar (Tamil)"   Raman Mahadevan, Nandini Srikar 04:59
13. "Move Your Body (Tamil)"   Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa, Hard Kaur 03:33
14. "Johnny Gaddaar (Telugu)"   Nandini Srikar , Raman Mahadevan 04:59
15. "Move Your Body (Telugu)"     03:31

Reception[edit]

SEL, Dharmendra, Sriram Raghavan at the music launch
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Bollywood Hungama 3.5/5 stars[9]
Rediff.com 4.5/5 stars[10]
Planet Bollywood 9/10 stars [11]

The album was met with high praise from critics upon release. Raja Sen of Rediff, who awarded the soundtrack four and a half stars was ecstatic about the soundtrack, "Johnny Gaddaar is a delightfully harebrained work showing off extreme musical maturity. This is the soundtrack that breaks all the rules, the three buddies reveling in the recklessness director Sriram Raghavan gives them. This is what Modesty Blaise would dance to, an album of lunatic retro genius.".[10] Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama gave the album a three-and-a-half stars, stating, "In 'Johnny Gaddaar', don't even expect the kind of soundtrack that you hear in a conventional Bollywood film. Instead expect to get on a rhythmic ride which would hardly give you a breather throughout it's [sic] 11 tracks. The music of 'Johnny Gaddaar' isn't anything that you have heard before in a mainstream Hindi film before. And this is where it's strength lies!".[9] Atta Khan of Planet Bollywood in his 9 star review, praised the soundtrack "Every once in a while a soundtrack comes along that leaves you in awe at it’s sheer audacity and pizzazz. Not to mention style, inspiration, variety, innovation and all round brilliance! In this reviewer’s opinion, Johnny Gaddaar is such a soundtrack. The whole package here including the instrumentals is an integral USP of the movie giving it a (dark but hip) character that many soundtracks only dream of achieving. Yet at the same time it is a great stand alone audio product too. It’s unconventional approach challenges every listener to expand their listening horizon and it’s an offer everyone should wholeheartedly accept."[11]

The soundtrack featured in the "Top 10 music Albums of the year" list by Rediff, which said Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy get it right again with twisted, unorthodox productions like Johnny Gaddaar.[12] It also got featured in the "Top 15 albums of the year" list of Planetbollywood, who remarked that "SEL have succeed in re-defining themselves and maintaining the edge over their counterparts."[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Filmfare Awards[edit]

Winner

Star Screen Awards[edit]

Nominated

Stardust Awards[edit]

Nominated

IIFA Awards[edit]

Winner

Zee Cine Awards[edit]

Winner

Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards[edit]

Winner

  • 2008: Best Performance in a negative role; Neil Mukesh

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Review: Johnny Gaddaar is a delicious thriller". CNN-IBN. Sep 29, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Movie reviews: Johnny Ghaddar". Indian Express. Sep 30, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Thanking the Stars". Indian Express. May 26, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Exclusive: Johnny Gaddaar being remade in Telugu". Rediff. November 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ Chaudhary, Swati R (August 2007). "'Johnny Gaddaar is the opposite of a thriller'". Rediff.com. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "SEL with Adlabs produce Johnny Gaddaar Album". GlamSham. Retrieved August 11, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Johnny Gaddar's music launch hits the right note". CNN IBN. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  8. ^ "The making of 'Johnny Gaddaar'". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Tuteja, Joginder. "Johnny Gaddaar Music Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Sen, Raja. "Shankar Ehsaan Loy's Best Album". Rediff. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Khan, Atta. "Johnny Gaddaar Music Review". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "rediff.com: 2007's Top 10 Music Albums". Specials.rediff.com. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  13. ^ "The High Notes of 2007". PlanetBollywood. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  14. ^ http://filmikhabar.com/2008/06/09/iifa-2008-award-winners/

External links[edit]