99 (2009 film)

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99
99Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRaj and D.K.
Produced byAnupam Mittal
Aditya Shastri
Written byRaj and D.K.
Sita Menon
StarringKunal Khemu
Boman Irani
Soha Ali Khan
Cyrus Broacha
Mahesh Manjrekar
Vinod Khanna
Dali Vivekanandan
Music byShamir Tandon
Ashutosh Pathak
CinematographyRajeev Ravi
Edited byCheragh Todiwala
Distributed byPeople Pictures
Release date
  • 15 April 2009 (2009-04-15)
Running time
140 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi
Budget9 crores

99 is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language crime comedy film directed by Raj and D.K., starring Kunal Khemu, Boman Irani, Soha Ali Khan and Cyrus Broacha. The movie is set in the year 1999, with cricket controversies of that year as the backdrop. It was produced and distributed by "People Pictures", and was released on 15 May 2009.

Plot[edit]

Sachin (Kunal Khemu) and Zaramud (Cyrus Broacha) are two small-time crooks in Mumbai, who make a living out of duplicating mobile phone sim cards and selling them to customers who would like to own a phone but not pay phone bills. Duplicate sim cards enable these people to use a particular sim card for a month, after which the user of the original sim card is notified through an inflated phone bill that someone else is also using the same connection. This scam was working quite well for Sachin and Zaramud, as they operated among a closed group of customers who would buy a new duplicate sim each month. However, the two cons break their code when they sell a duplicate sim to a man outside the closed circle. This leads them to trouble, as this man clocks a phone bill of INR 9,00,000 within a week, thus alerting the sim card company and thereby the police of the existence of this scam. When the police raid their premises, they destroy all their equipment and escape. In the cat-and-mouse chase that follows, Zaramud breaks into a car along with Sachin to lay the police off their trail. However, the car meets with an accident. Although Sachin and Zaramud manage to escape from the police with minor injuries, the car is damaged beyond repair. AGM (Mahesh Manjarekar), a bookie based out of Mumbai, is the owner of this car, and has his goons track Sachin and Zaramud down to demand compensation for the damages. Realizing that they are in no position to pay such a hefty sum, AGM devises a payback policy wherein Sachin and Zaramud would work for him till the time they are capable of paying the compensation.

Rahul (Boman Irani), who is an executive in a currency exchange company in Delhi, has a penchant for betting and gambling. He is a firm believer that everyone is born with the same amount of luck, but that luck can only be accessed at certain specific times in their lives. Hence, if he can identify those lucky phases in his life, he could gamble as much as he wants and would be sure to win. To identify these phases, he relies on signals and tells from the almighty - he would predict the outcomes of certain events not under his control, and if his predictions turned out to be correct, he would assume them as signals. Rahul visits Mumbai on a conference, and decides to bet (after getting sufficient signals) on the outcome of an India vs New Zealand cricket match that was on that day. He visits AGM, who he was referred to by a bookie in Delhi by the name of Bhuval Ram Kuber (Amit Mistry), and bets INR 20,00,000 on India winning the match. However, India loses the match, which leaves Rahul with a debt of betted amount to AGM.

Sachin and Zaramud are more educated and tech-savvy than the rest of AGM's gang, and this makes them AGM's trusted aides. They prepare a list of individuals who owe money to AGM, in descending order. Top of this list is Kewal Pandey (Raja Kapse), who is a Bhojpuri film actor, and never answers AGM's phone calls. Next on the list is Rahul, who also avoids AGM's phone calls. Since Rahul is based out of Delhi, and hence is outside the jurisdiction of AGM's operations, AGM decides to send Sachin and Zaramud to Delhi to retrieve the money Rahul owes him. Sachin and Zaramud reach Delhi, and put up in a 5 star hotel using AGM's credit card. Sachin develops a liking towards Pooja (Soha Ali Khan), who is a floor manager in the hotel. The two of them bond over their mutual desire of owning an independent business and be their own boss, and Sachin informs Pooja about his idea of owning a coffee-shop someday and 'scoring a century in life'.

In spite of owing money to AGM, Rahul continues in his gambling ways. He plays teen patti with JC (Vinod Khanna), who is a big and powerful businessman and bookie. After Rahul goes all-in and JC raises on the bet, Rahul identifies JC's expanding of his nostrils as a tell that he is bluffing, and decides to call the bet. Rahul is revealed to be correct in his assessment and ends up winning, but JC jokingly vows to beat Rahul some day. Outside his office, Rahul is often frequented by a Salesman (Pitobash), who sells stolen goods and urges him to buy something from him. After Rahul's repeated denials, the salesman urges him to buy something for his wife instead. This reminds Rahul that it is his wife Jahnvi's (Simone Singh) birthday, and he buys her a mobile phone to make amends for his forgetfulness. When he visits his wife with the gift, Jahnvi is irked by the expensive gift, and suspects that Rahul has been up to gambling again. She is also irritated to see that Rahul has also bought a mobile phone for himself, which is even more expensive than Jahnvi's. After Rahul's repeated coaxing that he has given up gambling and betting, Jahnvi decides to keep her phone.

The next morning, Rahul is met with Kuber and his solitary goon Dimple (Rajesh Singh), and it is revealed that Rahul also owes INR 7,00,000 to Kuber. When he is unable to pay the money back, Rahul gets beaten up by Dimple and gets his phone taken away by Kuber till the time Rahul has the cash to pay him. Jahnvi calls on Rahul's phone to apologize for last night, but the call is received by Kuber who informs Jahnvi about Rahul's various debts in the market. Rahul calls Jahnvi and they have a fight. Subsequently, Sachin and Zaramud visit Rahul to demand AGM's money. Rahul says he doesn't have the money, but assures them that he would make a calculated bet on the outcome of a cricket match on Friday, win the bet, and pay them the required amount from the winnings. Suspecting that Rahul is trying to dupe them, Sachin asks Rahul to predict the outcome of the next ball of a cricket match that was playing on the television as test for the authenticity of Rahul's calculations. When Rahul correctly predicts that the batsman would be out the next ball, Sachin and Zaramud are perplexed but convinced with Rahul's plan, and decide to give him time till Friday. It is later revealed that Rahul was watching a recorded match on the television.

Finding themselves with nothing to do till Friday, Sachin and Zaramud decide to visit Rahul at his office to give him a reminder. When they reach his office, Rahul had just received a payment of USD 50,000 from a client to be converted into INR, and assuming that he had a buffer of 3-4 days before paying the amount back, Rahul hides the money in a secret compartment of his briefcase, probably with the intention of using it in a gambling exercise. Sachin and Zaramud find the money in his briefcase, and decide to take that as payment for AGM in spite of objections from Rahul. However, on their way to the airport, all their belongings along the briefcase filled with money gets stolen. It is revealed that the thieves are unable to find the money in the secret compartment, and the briefcase ends up in the godown of the Salesman outside Rahul's office.

Sachin and Zaramud go back to Rahul to inform about the debacle. Rahul is shocked, and tells them that he has plan that would have tripled the money in the briefcase, but the plan is now useless since the money was gone. Nevertheless, Sachin and Zaramud show interest in Rahul's plan, and Rahul reveals that he has a hunch that JC was privy to the outcome of the next India vs South Africa cricket match, and if they could bet on the same team JC bets on, they would surely win. Sachin decides to leverage the list of AGM's debtors to collect the funds needed to place the bet. The three of them visit Kewal Pandey, and are capable to extract half of what he owed to AGM, which is sufficient for their purpose. In the meantime, Kuber visits Rahul again, but this time gets badly beaten up by Sachin, who also manages to get Rahul's phone back. Next, they plan to get hold of JC's sim card and duplicate it so that they can listen in on JC's conversations. It is revealed that JC has put up in the same hotel as Sachin and Zaramud. Sachin approaches Pooja for help, who agrees in exchange for partnership in Sachin's coffee-shop. Sachin disguises as the hotel staff, and breaks into JC's suite using the hotel's key card. However, he is unable to get hold of JC's phone.

With some stroke of luck, Pooja, Sachin and Zaramud encounter JC in the hotel bar, when JC goes to the washroom leaving his phone near them. They take full advantage of this opportunity, and manage to get the unique identification number of JC's sim card. They make a duplicate of the sim, and listen in on JC's conversations, but he doesn't ever mention the cricket match. Desperate, Rahul goes to the bar where he plays cards with JC, and strikes up a conversation with him in a bid to extract some information about the match next day. JC complies, and as a return favour to Rahul for having helped him win a hand against a third opponent, he asks Rahul to bet on South Africa as a key player on the Indian side had agreed to throw the match in exchange for money received from him. At night, Rahul decides to come clean to Jahnvi and promises never to gamble again after this. In the meantime, Kuber informs AGM that Rahul had got him beaten up by two of his 'cousins' from Mumbai, and AGM deciphers that these cousins are none other than Sachin and Zaramud. AGM sends one of his goons to Delhi after them, and himself follows suit.

On the day of the match, Rahul leaves to place a bet on South Africa. Kuber reaches Sachin's room along with AGM's goon, and kidnaps him while Zaramud is unaware in the washroom. Sachin gets badly beaten up, but then manages to trick them and knocks Kuber and AGM's goon unconscious, and escapes from the place. Pooja and Zaramud meet him at the hotel bar, where they follow the proceedings of the match. In spite of South Africa's high total having batted first, India are well on course to chase it down on the back of a brilliant century by Tendulkar. India manages to win after some errors on the field by South Africa, and the three of them are distraught. However, Rahul comes and informs them that he had again seen through JC's bluff and had betted on India, along with a side bet on Tendulkar. He gives Sachin an address where he would receive the winnings.

Sachin visits a garments shop in Palika Bazar to collect the money. In the meantime, Zaramud discovers through the recorded conversations on JC's duplicated sim that the match was fixed on the side of the South Africans, and JC was behind it. He visits the CBI to hand over the recordings, where the officer asks him to stay away from all bookies as they were planning to raid them. Zaramud and Pooja pass this information over to Sachin, who gets chased by the police immediately after he receives the bag full of money. Sachin manages to somehow reach his hotel room without getting caught, although the police had reached the hotel. In the room, he finds AGM waiting, and he decides to hand over the bag filled with money to AGM, after AGM agrees never to bother Zaramud, Rahul or him again. He also lends AGM his jacket, which was a marker to police for the identity of the person they were after. As AGM reaches down to the hotel lobby, he is cornered by a group of policemen. There are sounds of shots being fired, indicating that AGM is either caught or killed.

Kuber visits Rahul again to demand his money, and threatens him with a loaded revolver. In a fit of rage, Rahul snatches the revolver from Kuber and accidentally shoots him through his palm. Kuber is shocked, and takes Rahul's old car both as payment and for getting to the hospital. Soon after, the car crashes.

Back in office, Rahul receives a phone call from the client who had given him USD 50,000 to be converted into INR, who complains of having not received the money yet. As Rahul ponders how he could return the money, the Salesman visits him at the office with the stolen briefcase. He had recognized it to be Rahul's. Rahul finds the money intact in the secret compartment. Elsewhere, as Sachin and Zaramud checkout of the hotel to go back to Mumbai, they are encountered by Kewal Pandey, who gives them the remaining half of the money he owed to AGM.

As the end credits roll, it is revealed that Sachin and Pooja have opened a coffee-shop, Zaramud has become a poster boy for fitness, and the recorded conversations from JC's sim had helped unearth the match-fixing scandal that had rocked the cricketing world in the year 2000.

Cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The movie received positive reviews from the press.

  • Rediff.com gave the film 4 stars and told the viewers that "they will leave the theater laughing and entertained."[1]
  • Indiatimes.com gave it 3.5 stars.[2]
  • Nikhat Kazmi of the Times Of India gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars stating that it has "a tangy, tongue-in-cheek tenor that ensures you never really lose the plot."
  • Taran Adarsh said, "99 is smart, good looking and interesting, in parts. The film holds appeal for the youth and multiplex audiences".[3]
  • Real Bollywood: "Intricately woven", "Extremely entertaining" said "Director duo have done a fantastic job" (3.5 stars).[4]
  • Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL India gave 99 3 out of 5 and said "The characters are fed with lively and spontaneous dialogues that make you smile or even laugh every once in a while."[5]
  • Boxoffice.com said the "Bollywood flick should catch on with American audiences" and that "99 has potential to set new standard."[6]

Box office[edit]

The film was released on 15 May 2009 worldwide with about 500 prints. 99 had a slow start on Friday with 10–15%.[7] Business picked as reports were mainly positive. The film was a moderate box office success and was expected to find its patronage among the youth and the multiplex audiences at whom it is targeted.[8][9]

Music[edit]

99
Soundtrack album by
Ashutosh Pathak and Shamir Tandon
Released17 April 2009
RecordedMumbai
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length44:18
LabelSaregama

Reception[edit]

The film's music received mixed reviews from critics. Indiatimes gave the soundtrack three stars out of four, saying the songs "What's Up", "Soch Mat Dobara", "Punjab Size" were average while praising "Kal Ki Tarah" and "Delhi Destiny".[10] Bollywood Hungama's Joginder Tuteja gave the album two and a half stars out of five.[11]

Tracks[edit]

The track listing

No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."Delhi Destiny"Raja Hassan4:43
2."Soch Mat Dobara"Bonnie Chakraborthy3:05
3."What's Up"KK, Sunidhi Chauhan5:11
4."Punjab Size"Labh Jhanjua3:50
5."Kal Ki Tarah"Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan3:51
6."99 Theme"Bonnie Chakraborthy2:04
7."What's Up (Remix)"DJ Whosane3:31
8."Delhi Destiny (Remix)"DJ Whosane4:41

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rediff.com
  2. ^ "Indiatimes.com". Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  3. ^ bollywoodhungama.com
  4. ^ "Real Bollywood". Archived from the original on 16 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  5. ^ AOL India
  6. ^ "boxoffice.com". Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "99: Music Review". Indiatimes. 4 May 2009. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  11. ^ Joginder Tuteja (15 May 2009). "99". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2 December 2009.

External links[edit]