Story: Thrills, chills, scandals surround the murder of a star in the ’60s. Eleven suspects are on the scanner. With cops, black marketers and booming beats, the story ‘falls’ from an almost ‘Teesri Manzil‘ style plot.
Review: It’s the swinging ‘seX’ties’ (60s) – with an ‘Xtra’ ‘X’ factor. Larger-than- life superstars, bulging bosoms, sensual sins, high-riding hemlines, charisma galore and exciting extra-marital affairs. This is where ‘The Xpose‘ unfolds. At a glittering after-awards party a top actress, Zara (Sonali), is found dead. “Murder” they said. “Who’s the suspect?” they quizzed. And the music of a rip-roaring era played on.
With a line-up of (usual) suspects – Ravi Kumar (Himesh) playing an angry ex- cop turned South actor (with dialogue-baazi like – “Main joh bol deta hoon, wohi script ban jaata hai!”). He’s signed up by Bollywood director Subbu Prasad (Ananth) for a film titled ‘Ujjwal Nirmal Sheetal’ (‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ anybody?), opposite sexy siren Zara, who tries to seduce him out of his puritanical vows.
Ravi, however, is madly in love with newbie Chandni (Zoya), who’s being launched in ‘Reena Mera Naam'(remember ‘Johnny Mera Naam‘?) and is Zara’s arch rival (cat-fights coming up!). There’s also music composer KD (YoYo) – with a Pran-like-latt, who ‘rips’ rap music, and a host of cagey characters to add intrigue to this conspiracy.
Ananth’s motley of filmi characters is colourful, comical and hilariously OTT. With razzmatazz, he interestingly draws references from real incidents and real stars. Himesh’s role has a Raaj Kumar hangover; Zoya and Sonali are modelled on Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman. Irrfan (as narrator) is the black-marketeer who makes big bucks. This whodunit has more tongue-in-cheek humour than suspense, more ‘laugh’ (with dialogue-baazi) than ‘gasp’ moments. And peppy music packaged in ’60s’ style.
It’s pacy but the plot unravels stylishly, not intelligently (some suspects don’t have a clear motive for murder). Sonali is stunning and impressive, Zoya makes a pretty picture and Yo Yo is best when he’s grooving. Himesh slips well into his character, with quirkiness and confidence. This is far from a mind-bending thriller, but a decent effort which has some good ‘ol masala to keep you entertained.