The curse of the second half prevents The Power from being the entertainer it could have been, notes Joginder Tuteja.
An ode to The Godfather, Mahesh Manjrekar's The Power does not shy away from establishing the premise of the Marlon Brando classic as its clear inspiration.
So we have a family patriarch (Manjrekar leads the cast as well) getting into Sarkar mode, where the policy of 'naa karoonga naa karne doonga' holds true even when it comes to 'drugs ka dhandha'.
The youngest in the house, a damaad (Prateik Babbar), wonders why can'o;t they just grease the palms of the authorities and make money as well.
The eldest (Jisshu Sengupta, in an appearance-a-month mode currently) jokes about everything and one wonders whether his character will throw up a major twist in the end.
As for the middle one, the sensible guy with bone-breaking abilities, Vidyut Jammwal is a Singapore-returned chef, who wants to go legit and open a hotel business while also aspiring to be a politician.
The family could well have stayed on to sing 'hum saath saath hai', notwithstanding ghar ki bahu Yuvika Chaudhary bringing on her inner Bindu from the '70s.
But an attack on the head of the family, followed by wafadaar Man Friday Zakir Hussain's killing, mobilises a chain of events where his daughter (Shruti Haasan), who was about to be 'gangster ghar ki bahu', takes an oath to eliminate the Thakur khandaan.
So far so good, what with Vidyut pleasing his fan base with highly volatile action sequences and dramatic sequences, and the villain of the piece, Sachin Khedekar, reminding us of his volte face act a la Badshah (no surprise here though), getting into some dirty schemes.
However, just as it happens with any masala film, this one also goes haywire in the second half.
Too many evil men continue to surround the families, though the most annoying one is ex-cricketer-turned-ex-actor-turned-bodyguard Salil Ankola, who kills people with his bare hands.
In comparison, it is always exciting to see Vidyut get his jumps and kicks bang on target, something that he keeps doing right into the second half as well.
A few dramatic sequences involving the Thakurs and their changed modus operandi make you look forward to what happens next.
But when the story moves towards the women, be it ex-love (Shruti) and now-lust (Sonal Chauhan), the film gets into a different territory.
Thankfully, there are no songs to prolong the narrative, but still, after a while, the gruesome killings and meandering plot get a bit too much, making you lose interest.
If the film had been crisper with solid drama in the second half too, The Power could have been more powerful.
Vidyut Jammwal fans would be happy though that he gets into a hardcore action mode, something that was missing in Khuda Hafiz.
I couldn't help but wonder which era the film was set in, as everyone uses landlines and there are no cellphone anywhere.
Had the communication been on mobiles, a couple of lives could have been saved!
The Power is streaming on ZeePlex.