Race (2008 film)

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Race (2008 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Abbas-Mustan
Produced by Ramesh S. Taurani
Kumar S. Taurani
Written by Jitendra Parmar
Anurag Prapanna
Screenplay by Shiraz Ahmed
Story by Shiraz Ahmed
Starring Anil Kapoor
Saif Ali Khan
Katrina Kaif
Bipasha Basu
Akshaye Khanna
Sameera Reddy
Music by Songs:
Background Score:
Cinematography Ravi Yadav
Edited by Hussain A. Burmawala
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • 21 March 2008 (2008-03-21)
Running time
155 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 350 million (equivalent to 530 million or US$7.8 million in 2016)
[citation needed]
Box office 1.06 billion (equivalent to 1.6 billion or US$24 million in 2016)[1]

Race is a 2008 Bollywood thriller film directed by Abbas-Mustan and produced under the Tips Films banner. Released on 21 March 2008 worldwide, it stars Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Akshaye Khanna, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy in pivotal roles. The film also stars Dilip Tahil and Johnny Lever for thriller and comedy sketches. It is the first installment of Race film series.

Set and mostly filmed in Durban and Dubai, Race is a comedy, thriller and action movie which explores themes of sibling rivalry, betrayal and passion. It is loosely based on the 1998 Hollywood movie Goodbye Lover.[2] It became the fourth highest grossing Bollywood film of the year.[3] Race was dubbed into Tamil as Panthayam and in Telugu as Race Telugu. The film's sequel Race 2 was released in 2013, and was also a success.


A voice-over by RD (Anil Kapoor) introduces the four main characters: Ranvir Singh (Saif Ali Khan) who runs a successful business he inherited from his father. His younger brother Rajiv Singh (Akshaye Khanna) who mooches off of Ranvir and is an alcoholic. Ranvir is dating an upcoming model Sonia (Bipasha Basu), while his personal assistant Sophia (Katrina Kaif) appears to be secretly in love with him. Ranvir is also involved in an intense competition with a rival horse-owner Kabir (Dilip Tahil). The film opens with a murder plot involving a car accident which Ranvir narrowly survives. When Ranvir loses money in a race because his jockey had been bribed by Kabir, Ranvir plants a bomb in the jockey's car and kills him, showing Ranvir to be a ruthless businessman.

In a drunken stupor, Rajiv confesses to Ranvir that he likes Sonia and that he would quit drinking if he could spend his life with a woman like her. Ranvir immediately stops dating Sonia so that Rajiv can have her. Rajiv and Sonia begin dating and appear happy until, in a twist, Rajiv reveals he knows of Sonia's shady past and has a plan to use Sonia to his advantage. Rajiv reveals that his father had secured identical life-insurance policies for huge sums on each of the sons. He explains that he wants to kill Ranvir in what would appear to be an accident and inherit $100 million in insurance payments and wants Sonia to play along. Sonia agrees to help in exchange for $20 million. They pretend to get married and Rajiv ignores Sonia in this fake-marriage while continuing to play an alcoholic. As per his instructions, Sonia seduces Ranvir who confesses he loved her all along. Rajiv reveals the rest of his plan: to threaten to commit suicide in response to Sonia and Ranvir's affair by leaping off a tall building, have Ranvir appear on the terrace, and get Sonia to push Ranvir off. However, it turns out Ranvir was aware of the plan all along as Sonia, who had apparently fallen in love with Ranvir, had been keeping him updated.

Things go according to plan but Sonia double-crosses Ranvir and pushes him off, saying she loved him, but the money was more important. Inspector RD appears at this point to investigate the death, accompanied by his idiotic assistant Mini (Sameera Reddy). Upon his arrival, he immediately suspects foul-play in the death. During his investigation, Ranvir's assistant Sophia reveals that she was married to Ranvir and produces a legitimate marriage certificate. Sonia is shocked that their plan has been thwarted as Sophia is now the heir to the insurance money. In another twist, Sophia was in on the plan all along and is secretly dating Rajiv. Rajiv plans to bump off Sonia after he and Sophia get the insurance money. However, RD figures out during his investigation that Sophia and Rajiv had faked her marriage with Ranvir and that he had been tricked into signing the marriage certificate. RD confronts Rajiv about this and agrees to remain silent about it in exchange for $25 million.

Rajiv hires the same hitman who had attempted to murder Ranvir at the beginning to kill Sonia, revealing that he had been behind the first murder attempt, too. Just as the hitman is about to kill Sonia, Ranvir reappears and rescues her. Ranvir then confronts Rajiv and explains that he had overheard Rajiv discussing the failed murder attempt with the hitman and had been playing along the whole time so he could get the insurance money from his own fake-death and the insurance money from killing Rajiv. He allows Rajiv one last chance to win by agreeing to a car race. Ranvir shows up to the race in a sports car, whilst Rajiv doesn't. When Rajiv protests, he switches cars with Ranvir. This turns out to be a trick as Rajiv had tampered with the brakes on his own car. Ranvir, in turns, lies to Rajiv, claiming he had planted a bomb in his car, similar to the one that killed the jockey, and that it would be detonated if Rajiv ever slowed down below 100 mp/h. This deceives Rajiv into crashing into a petroleum tank, killing him and Sophia, who had been riding with him. Ranvir narrowly escapes death himself. Ranvir then says that there was no bomb in the car, and that Rajiv had "killed himself".

In the end, Ranvir collects the insurance money from Rajiv and Sophia's death, along with the money from his own fake-death. Upon fleeing the city, he is stopped by Inspector RD, who had been in on the plan, too, and had helped Ranvir fake his death and get the insurance money. Inspector RD takes his $25 million, only to find a bomb in the bag along with the money. The bomb does not detonate, and Ranvir reveals that it was a mere precaution to see if RD would try to betray him and take all the money. Ranvir rewards RD for his relative honesty by allowing him to live, and the two drive off.


  • Anil Kapoor as Robert D'Costa aka R.D.: A private detective with the deceptive air of an idiot. He is constantly eating fruits while solving a case. He is sharp, resourceful and quick. His appearance in the story thickens the plot as he unravels one lie after the other.
  • Saif Ali Khan as Ranvir Singh: The older of the two brothers and a ruthless business man who will stop at nothing to win the game. Playing with danger is his passion and outsmarting his opponent is his pastime.
  • Akshaye Khanna as Rajeev Singh: The younger of the two brothers and a spoilt, laid back and happy man. But underneath the surface lurks an anger which he tries to control with liquor. The anger and liquor get the better of him and end up controlling him and he always loses everything.
  • Bipasha Basu as Sonia: A glamorous model with a shady past. She is looking for a man who will keep her in his heart, hoping that it will be one of the brothers, before being secretly in love with Ranvir.
  • Katrina Kaif as Sophia: Ranvir Singh's secretary who shadows him around managing all his important matters. She is indispensable to Ranvir who trusts her completely but does not reciprocate her love. Sophia then dates Ranvir's brother, Rajiv.
  • Sameera Reddy as Mini: The attractive assistant of Robert D'Costa who is idiotic. She constantly asks stupid questions and is forever relegated to cutting fruits or doing menial jobs for her boss.
  • Dalip Tahil as Kabir: Ranvir's rival in horse races and business.
  • Johnny Lever as Max (special appearance): The marriage bureau chief who provides comic relief and a vital clue which leads to solving the case.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Bollywood Hungama 3/5 stars[4]
Planet Bollywood 6.5/10 stars[5]
Planet Bollywood 7.5/10 stars[6]

The music for Race was composed by Pritam with lyrics by Sameer. It got favourable reviews with the song "Pehli Nazar Mein" sung by Atif Aslam as the biggest hit of the album along with "Zara Zara Touch Me".[7] The song "Khwab Dekhe (Sexy Lady)" was recorded after the release of the soundtrack. It replaced the original song "Mujh Pe Toh Jadoo" in the film. Tips Music then re-distributed the soundtrack, adding "Khwab Dekhe (Sexy Lady)" after the release of the film.

Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Label Tips Music Films
Various Artists chronology
Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (2007) Race (2008) Jannat (2008)
Track # Song Singer(s) Duration
1 "Race Saanson Ki" Neeraj Shridhar, Sunidhi Chauhan 04:50
2 "Pehli Nazar Mein" Atif Aslam, Neeraj Shridhar(Background Vocals) 05:14
3 "Dekho Nashe Mein" KK, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan 04:11
4 "Mujh Pe Toh Jadoo" Taz, Apache Indian, Sunidhi Chauhan 04:41
5 "Zara Zara Touch Me" Monali Thakur 04:32
6 "Race Is on My Mind" Neeraj Shridhar, Sunidhi Chauhan 05:00
7 "Dekho Nashe Mein (Latin Fiesta Mix)" KK, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan 04:22
8 "Zara Zara Touch Me (Asian Rnb Mix)" Monali Thakur 04:47
9 "Khwab Dekhe (Sexy Lady)" Neeraj Shridhar, Monali Thakur 04:40

According to a Network 18 report, "Pehli Nazar Mein" and "Zara Zara Touch Me" were directly copied from the Korean song "Sa Rang Haeo" and Leehom Wang's "Deep Within a Bamboo Grove".[8] Sony BMG Taiwan has issued a legal letter to Tips Industries claiming damages for the song "Zara Zara Touch Me".[9][10]


Critical reception[edit]

Race opened to mixed response from critics. Raja Sen gave the film 1.5 out of 5 stars, saying it was a "carnival of twists".[11] However, Taran Adarsh gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, stating that "Race is a superb entertainer all the way", and that it "has not just style, but a lot of substance too".[12]

Box office[edit]

Race went on to become the fourth biggest Bollywood film of 2008 behind Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Singh is Kinng in terms of gross.[3] The film opened with a total of 356 million (US$5.2 million) in India, 900,000 in the United Kingdom and 840,000 in the United States.[citation needed] It netted 620 million in India,[13] before collecting $5 million from overseas. Race had grossed 158 million (US$2.3 million) in its opening weekend,[14] before collecting a worldwide gross of 1.06 billion.[1]


Main article: Race 2

The original production team had announced plans to make a sequel called Race 2. Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapoor returned to reprise their roles from the original movie before John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez and Ameesha Patel were new additions to the cast. Bipasha Basu was the only other returning member and appeared in a cameo role as Sonia.[15][16][17] The filming for Race 2 started on 5 October 2011.[18] It was released on 25 January 2013, and was another success, grossing over 1 billion (US$15 million) domestically.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Top All Time Worldwide Grossers". Box office India. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bollywood's 'Copycats' of 2008". The Times of India. 
  3. ^ a b "Top Earners 2008". Box Office India. 
  4. ^ "Race Music Review By Joginder Tuteja". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Race – Music Review by: Atta Khan". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Race – Music Review by: Aakash Gandhi". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Joginder Tuteja. "Race Music Review". entertainment.oneindia.in. 
  8. ^ Sobhan, Usha. "Plagiarism: Chord that strings Pritam's music". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Pritam or Plagiarism". interstellaroverdrive. 
  10. ^ "Pritam in trouble for copying Race song". Entertainment.OneIndia.in. 
  11. ^ Raja Sen. "Too many twists spoil this Race". Rediff.com. 
  12. ^ Taran Adarsh. "Race Movie Review By Taran Adarsh". bollywoodhungama.com. 
  13. ^ "All Time Grossers". Box Office India. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  14. ^ http://www.boxofficeindia.com/overdetail.php?page=shownews&articleid=5347&nCat=
  15. ^ "Sonakshi in Race 2". calcuttatube.com. 
  16. ^ Adarsh, Taran (22 February 2011). "'Race 2' ready to take-off". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  17. ^ Joshi, Tushar (11 August 2011). "Ameesha Patel in Race 2". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Ameesha Patel signed opposite Anil Kapoor in Race 2". Bollywood Hungama. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  19. ^ http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/432932/20130208/race-2-box-office-collection-saif-starrer.htm

External links[edit]