Posted by: S/J | 07/01/2009

Review: New York

Directed By – Kabir Khan
Cast – John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Irrfan Khan, Neil Nitin Mukesh
Rating: 2.75/5

Don’t read the last three-four paragraphs if you haven’t watched the movie, unless you want to know what happens in the end!

johnnewyork New York starts with Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) getting arrested for having weapons in his cab. Than there’s a flashback…nahin!! (Hindi movies really need to stop using this technique already.)

In 1999, Omar is a new student at New York University from Delhi. There he meets two very angrezified Indians – Sam (John Abraham) and Maya (Katrian Kaif). But it’s not a story about a love-triange, although that happens, it’s about the after effects of September 11, 2001. When their lives changed and Omar lost his love…

It seemed as if Aditya Chopra and Kabir Khan had a fight which resulted in a compromise, New York. Before we delve further into that, we’d like to mention…WTH?! Adi wrote this movie…what? Huh? You can sense Adi in some parts of the movie, but if you were to tell us that Aditya Chopra alone wrote the story of this movie, it’s not hard to be shocked. The guy who wrote ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,’ wrote ‘New York.’ Maybe that’s why the film seems like a compromise and one can’t help but remember ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ when watching this movie.

And just like ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ we felt that the movie wasn’t about 9/11. Many people are saying, it’s too late to join the 9/11 bandwagon. Yes the movie does use it as a backdrop, but it could’ve been any major terrorist act. The movie is based seven-eight years after 9/11 and it’s about what happened to people and how they dealt with things if they were a causality of that incident. We felt that this film was about personal experiences and how people cope with something that shakes up their lives. Now the performances.


Katrina Kaif can act! WOW! She should really win you over, especially after the debacle of a performance in Race. John was amazing when he’s in the detention center, it was really moving. Yes we’re biased, but he will impress you in those scenes. But he was okay in the first half and his accent was a bit irritating because Katrina had it down (naturally). He should’ve worked on it more, it didn’t sound American at all, considering his character had been living there since he was four.

Neil was good…if you look carefully at his expressions sometimes, it’s not hard calling him brilliant. But, he did get annoying in certain scenes, and he said ‘sir’ so many times. Do we even need to say anything about Irrfan Khan…he did get the best dialogues, quip quip quip. The crowd really loved them and laughed at all the right places. The dialogues were really good, snarky at times (which we liked), Sundeep Srivastava did an amazing job.

Technically, it’s a great product, very polished…the cinematography, Aseem Mishra, is good – really liked that the camera was looking up in the scene when the SWAT team gets out of their truck right before telling Neil to get out of his cab. The scenes of John in the detention center are also really well shot. Also liked the use warm shades vs. cool shades to differentiate between emotions. Editing is competent.

Now, on to the rest. When we say it seemed like Adi and Kabir had a fight, we are talking about the difference in the first half and second half. It was very Yash Raj in Neil’s flashback, which pretty much takes the first half. And it’s Kabir Khan in the second half…expect it’s too simple or too complex…we can’t decide. But you could take it either way, it could be good or bad. The happy college days, exaggerated yes, showed how good life was compared to what the characters are facing now. Or you could be irritated because you were expecting Kabir Khan and you got Aditya Chopra. We didn’t mind too much because going in we knew in the end it’s a YRF film and we knew it was going to be commercial product, so the people who were expecting some intense terrorist thriller…not to be too harsh, but that’s just stupid!

We can spend pages analyzing it and while it may seem as if we really loved the movie, there was something missing. The end pissed us off! First of all, stop the preaching, we get what you’re trying to show…especially when Roshan made that comment about the boy (he is super adorable) playing in a team in spite of being Muslim and his father being a terrorist. Yeah yeah it makes sense, but stop saying it, just show the film and we’ll figure it out ourselves.

Also, it is so stupid that Maya got killed…she wasn’t the terrorist, why they hell did they shoot her? They’re supposed to be professionals, don’t they know how to aim?! And the characters have so much gray, but the US government is made out to be too much of a caricature, too black and white.

Anyhow, the movie was less than satisfactory. It’s definitely well-acted, directed…looks good. But the story wasn’t good enough, but at least Adi experimented. He deserves kudos for that, but dude make DDLJ and Bachna Ae Haseeno…we’ll take a romantic comedy from you any day!



  1. Holy hell, guys!! You KNOW I love you both MADLY but when you review something you do NOT give away the ending!! I agree with most of what you say about the film, but why on EARTH did you reveal Katrina’s fate? Someone could be merrily reading that and then get a nasty shock. At least amend the post so it says “Contains major spoilers!” at the beginning. Vxx

  2. Venetia I’m so sorry!! I completely forgot to do that, I was having a major brain freeze…it was really late at night! I really hope you had already watched the movie….


  3. the website looks good!!

  4. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the amendment guys – much better. And yes – I had already watched it (first performance in London last Friday – LOL!).

    Overall I thought it was good (loved John’s performance) but, while I’m glad for John’s sake, I AM mildly surprised it’s taken off with such a storm! Still, all good news for John’s career. Vxx

  6. Yeah I’m so glad it’s taken off, but I wasn’t so happy over the weekend! It took us four tries to watch the movie. On Friday all the show times were sold out. Than we bought tickets on Saturday morning for the 8:30 show and we got there a bit late, and only the front row was available. Than we got our tickets changed to Sunday at 8:30 and we got there half-an-hour earlier, it was still full all the way. Than we decided to get a refund and watch the movie at the Indian theater in Fremont…which finally worked and we watched the 10 o’clock show on Sunday…the things we do for John!!


  7. I thought New York was below average, I give it 2.3/5. It did have some good parts, and is better than a lot of movies that have released so far like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Billu Barber,Ek,Hello,Mission Istanbul,Yuvraj,God Tussi Great Ho,etc.

    No Smoking, to me is John Abraham’s best performance and probably best movie in main lead. Like 3/5, so NO SMOKING OVER NEW YORK ANYDAY.

  8. Oh yeah…No Smoking is amazing! But John did give an amazing performance in New York, I don’t think that can be ignored.

  9. amazing?…….he is not that good of an actor, so no.

  10. Yes he still has to improve, but I’m talking about the performance in New York, it was amazing compared to some of his other movies…especially the scenes in the detention center. They were amazing. So yes.

  11. Okay

  12. i personally loooooved the movie!!

  13. […] it completely failed as a film and I realized that even more after I watched New York for the second time! Kabir Khan actually handled the terrorism subject really well and made sense […]

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