Writer-director Michael Winterbottom reimagines 1940s Hollywood noir tropes in this understated crime thriller set in contemporary India. Dev Patel stars as a tight-lipped, methodical British Muslim hired gun who snatches a demure bride (Radhika Apte) on the eve of her arranged marriage in Pakistan. He’s supposed to get the rest of his commission when he delivers her to her ex, a spoiled, mercurial London jeweler, but that cocky playboy (Jim Sarbh), fearing exposure and disinheritance, gets cold feet when her abduction makes worldwide headlines. A series of double and triple crosses ensue while the kidnapper and his not-so-innocent captive take a road trip through the subcontinent to Amritsar, Jaipur, Delhi, and coastal Goa, switching identities and transport modes as they chase the cash and evade the law. Cinematographer Giles Nuttgens’s (Hell or High Water) vivid, lush images of an India throbbing with color and life underscore the interiority of the moody protagonist, and the actors make their untrustworthy schemers mysteriously attractive, a requisite if the audience is to care what happens. In the end, the screenplay is the letdown, hewing too closely to generic convention. Patel’s character’s past is left deliberately murky, and even though he is smart and media savvy, we have no idea if any of his cultural influences included movies like The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Out of the Past (or their remakes and copycats). But arguably viewers of this movie have seen them, and might wish he hadn’t turned out to be just another pistol-packing sap.