It's back to the theatres after a sabbatical. GAME is crucial for Abhishek Bachchan. Also for director Abhinay Deo, this being his first release [though he had signed DELHI BELLY much before he made GAME]. So let's figure out how exciting this game is...
Recall Vijay Anand's whodunit TEESRI MANZIL. Also recollect Vijay Anand's crime thriller JEWEL THIEF. Now reminisce Raj Khosla's suspense thriller WOH KAUN THI?. Also revisit Biren Nag's eerie suspense saga BEES SAAL BAAD. Several decades and several screenings later, you still relish those films. These films worked for varied reasons. Melodious music. Taut screenplay. Most importantly, it was hard to guess the identity of the 'culprit' till the very end.
Hindi cinema is undergoing a major metamorphosis. But the rules of the game haven't changed. A whodunit should keep your interest alive till the penultimate moments. Besides, the identity of the killer/culprit should come as a shock, when the veil of secrecy is lifted. Also, the logic or rationale behind the goings-on needs to be convincing and relatable at the same time. Unfortunately, GAME misfires on all three counts.
The problem with GAME is manifold. First and foremost, first-time storyteller Abhinay Deo serves a slick-flick that's devoid of meat. It's all about narrating interesting stories and how convincingly do they translate on celluloid, but Abhinay seems to be under the notion that stunning locales and vibrant/energetic action pieces compensate for a tight/cohesive script. Nope, they don't!
Another problem with the film is that the screenplay [penned by Althea Delmas Kaushal] goes for a toss after an electrifying first hour. In fact, I'd go to the extent of saying that the first and second halves are diametrically opposite in terms of content and also the impact they leave. While the first hour succeeds in holding your attention thanks to the interesting twists and turns [never mind the slow pacing at times] and flows like a breeze, the second hour simply tests your patience. It's puzzling and confusing, with everyone pretending to be Sherlock Holmes.