This one was meant to be a cop drama with a twist. For a zillion sagas where policemen gun it out with the goons, Maximum sets out to narrate the story of two encounter cops whose rivalry seriously affects power equations in big bad Mumbai.
The two cops are essayed by Naseeruddin Shah and Sonu Sood. The story, starting off in 2003, presents a scenario where Pratap Pandit (Sonu) and Arun Inamdar (Naseer) are as much obsessed with gaining maximum power within the department as they are with topping each otherâs encounter killing count.
It doesnât take long to figure out where director Kabir Kaushik is coming from. Every major player in the screenplay harks back to a real-life character you have seen on news TV, setting off a fascinating game of guessing whoâs who.
Sadly, the gripping thriller that such a premise promises never really takes off. Maximum fails to be the dirty cop saga it had promised to be. What we get instead is talk and more boring talk, as the two camps get going with elaborate planning sessions.
Sonu Sood enacts Pratap confidently, as an ambitious Mumbai policeman with north Indian roots. In contrast, Naseera Arun Inamdar is meant to be silently devious. A couple of individual scenes featuring both actors as well as Vinay Pathaka's Lakhnavi politician who is out to make his mark in Maharashtra politics are well drawn, but thata's just about it. Sub plots involving Neha Dhupia as Prataps wife and Anjana Sukhani as a Bollywood starlet only divert attention from the basic storyline.
For Kaushik, his 2005 debut film Seher remains his best effort coming as Maximum is after the disastrous Chamku and Hum Tum Aur Ghost.