Race: The Philosophy of “Punch” Tatva

According to the Upanishads, the human body is created from the five core elements of nature. They are Kshiti, Jal, Paawak, Gagan and Sameera Reddy. The fifth element is absolutely indispensable. Looks like Abbas Mastan too looked upon this timeless philosophy of the Punch–Tatva to ensure that the movie doesn’t attain nirvana as quickly as it happened with their earlier rope tricks that went flaccid. The product turns out to be a hastily made emulsion of testosterone and Eau de Cologne, blended with equal measures of frothy whipped cream. The cream smells a little of crap, but the perfume takes good care of that. In the end you get a potion that is perhaps your money’s worth, considering the ample drool factor you get for free!

The Plot

Of course there is a shallow one. Two brothers, raising race horses in South Africa, both in varying shades of grey, scheming and plotting against each other, and each labouring to cover his trail from the prying eyes of the other, or so it seems. Each bro has a personal bimbo in the beginning, who become complexly interchanged during the course of the movie. Each bro seems to have a novel plan up his sleeve. The elder bro is terminated before intermission by the younger one who eyes the insurance money. After many twist, turns and quadruple double crossings, the truth comes out, extracted cleverly by an investigating officer, who, with his own personal bombshell, seems to have a different agenda than what meets the eye. By the end, the unpredictability of the protagonists become so predictable, you lose all hope and submit yourselves to the whims of the director duo!

The Punch Tatvas (without which RACE would have been lost right as the outset)

Kshiti (Terra)
– Saif Ali Khan aka Ranvir Singh. Boy …has he been putting on those obscene mountains of brawn! His business as shown in the movie, apart from not shaving, is to look glum and morose, raise racing studs, drive fast cars, bet and lose, bet and win, blow up his rivals by remote control, take off his shirt, use the barns to ‘make himself mixture’ with his ex passion in full view of the horses, look some more glum and morose, sign documents without caring to look, play double crossing games with his bro, his bimbo, his bro’s bimbo and his rivals, and act like a hugely caring bade bhaiya all the time. Once bitten and scratched all over by Bips (during the make happy scene), he is twice shy, and does not take off his pants again. Some of the get ups are shocking though – ganjee (vest), jeans, double tinted squarish glasses and a stubble – reminds one of Mazahar Khan of Shaan. Overall, manages to deliver an average performance.

Jal (Aqua)
– Anil Kapoor. As an investigating officer (Robert D’Costa), he adds soda to the rumble. Portrays an unmarried, sexually frustrated detective with a huge appetite for anything that looks round and juicy. Tries to woo his secretary, but her poor imagination stymies his horny efforts. Devours strawberries, apples, oranges, grapes and pomegranates by the dozen, and suggestively leaves the bananas for the subordinate bimbo, who fails to see the natural association. Delivers thoughtful double entendres involving the benign act of sucking (sugarcanes). His performance is fluid, as his character appears to take the shape of the available vessels at any given situation. Though the moustache (French cut + Chinese barber + Thambe’s style), tinted hair and diamond earstuds don’t quite match the role he plays, but who cares really.

Paawak (The Flame)
– You guessed it right. None other than Bipasha Boso(m) aka Sonia. Figuratively speaking, leaves nothing to imagination. Acts like a fashion model. Gets real sticky with both the studs in turn. Marries one, gets into the haystack with the other, switches loyalty frequently, and yet somehow manages to establish herself as the only virtuous damsel. Gets most of the footage. Exudes enough oomph to charge all your ‘Excite/Amoron’ batteries. Dresses skimpily on a few occasions where she is required to dress. Blue knickers with a red top! Which football club has a flag like that? Can’t dance. Lip syncs are awful. Always reminds one of that horrible ‘Mehbooba mehbooba’ number!

Gagan (The Sky) – Akshay Khanna aka Rajeev Singh. His role had a huge potential. Plays an incorrigible unrepentant rascal. Loves heights. The Stallone like crumple of his lips is unmistakable. Boozes, takes off his shirt, inflates his chest to match that of Saif’s, walks around with a gorilla like gait, goes to bed with his bro’s bimbo, boozes again, double crosses nearly everyone whom he comes across, schemes ruthlessly against his elder bro and hopes to pull off a 100 million dollar heist. Good performance.

Sameera Reddy (The Steam) –Blissful performance from the gorgeous seductress. Seems to have put on weight. Had no difficulty in portraying a dumb and sexy assistant called ‘Mini’. Very healthy and natural acting! Behaves decently and allows only limited kissing on her cheeks. Considers her boss as God. Anil Kapoor once touches her heart softly from the outside, but she disallows any further divine intervention.

Barf (Ice) – The Sixth Element – Katerina Kaif aka Sophia. Frosty performance. Tries to look glamorous. Adds the necessary chill to the plot. One of her main accomplishments – getting into bed with the younger bro in the …er…nude. Looks both happy and sad. Believes that smiling and acting are synonymous. Wears the maximum clothes of the three, yet manages to show enough skin. Can’t dance. Looked like a trembling coconut tree which has lost all its leaves.

What I noticed which everyone overlooked

The X Ray was that of a pneumonia patient.
You can buy Disprin even in Durban.
The fatso sidekick looked like an Indian team manager.
Katerina Kaif developed a huge pimple on her left cheek midway in the movie.
The horses found the Saif – Bipasha love scene repulsive and didn’t approve of it
Dance steps of ‘Asereje’ were copied.
The fashion designer was fake. His name was Armano!
Dilip Tahil’s beard was not centered correctly
Johnny Lever’s days are over.
Akshay Khanna never took off his pants
The yellow car in the end was a Lexus

The Chequered Flags
Superb locales. Splendid cinematography, Slick editing. Good music.

The Flat Tyres
Unconvincing plot, absurd characters, dumb stunts (apart from the car chases), flat screenplay, forced dance sequences.

Verdict –
Overall the movie is worth seeing once mainly because of two reasons. You get a fair idea of a foreign nation (South Africa) and learn about all those practical tips which will help you to succeed in business while dealing with South Africans. Secondly, you may never again see Dilip Tahil and Johnny Lever in the same movie.


I enjoyed the samosa and coke (I said C-O-K-E) served on my seat.

This post was first published elsewhere. It can be read in the original context along with the comments here.

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3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. ~uh~™ April 22, 2009 at 11:49 am -

    Yes yes.
    There is this song also influenced from the sacred Kama Theosophy sung by Monali Thakur

    Zara zara
    Touch Me Touch Me Touch Me
    Ah Zara Zara
    Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
    Ah Zara Zara
    Hold Me Hold Me Hold Me
    Ah Zara Zara
    Oooo ooo ooo

    The poetic freedom must be noted in this stanza
    Bin tere sanam is jahan mein
    Beqkaar hum
    Dum da dum da dum
    Bin tere sanam is jahan mein
    Beqkaar hum

    We are lucky we get to experience such masterpeices.
    I am all eyes for forthcoming Kambaqth Ishq where Kareena Kappor will share screen with Stallone……..oOoo Oooo oOo ooO


    Ah! What a song! That dum da dum da dum literally takes hold of the cockles of your heart and gives them a melancholic shrug!

  2. ~uh~™ April 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm -

    ‘you may never again see Dilip Tahil and Johnny Lever in the same movie’.
    Don’t know about the future, but I can quickly remember that they have been together in-
    Chori Chori Chupke Chupke
    Kishen Kanhaiya

    Hope they appear together again.


    Amen 😀