Isi life mein - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

An issue as pertinent now as it was 20 years ago. A film made just like it was made 20 years ago. From the mannerisms of the actors to the texture of the film - everything is a reminiscence of the eighty's. It's still all in one lifetime, I guess that's the production house's excuse. There's still something so innocent about the film that it would have been likable if it were 45 minutes and a few sermons shorter.

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You can see how Rajshri Productions is struggling to keep up with the times. They are trying hard to catch up with the generation that is absolutely comfortable with the use of the f-word and the s-word. But their discomfort is transparent because they want to stick to their kind of cinema. This time around, their solution to the clash of the generations is mutual respect. A back-answering rebellious youth is told to age a little quicker and look at it from an older person's point of view. The more experienced, thus wiser are applauded when they give their children a chance at living life king size.

All this might be possible without lectures (no filmmakers, masking them as songs doesn't make them any less patronizing) and "tubelight" moments turned into dramatic realizations. But not in the Barjatya world. Their characters are saccharine-cute and coy even as they are reborn into more glamorized, more "modern" avatars. Rajnandini, the protagonist transforms into RJ, but where will the sweetness that she is born with go?

These sugar-coated, wordless (spineless?) girls do exist. Hell, yours truly, this marwadi, "city-girl" might have given a cousin or two a run for her money, when it came to blind obedience. I even did the dreadful CA! I wouldn't be surprised if we found a specimen or two like me even today.

That is why I think Isi Life Mein doesn't work at all. It was so easy for me to identify with mute Rajnandini, but I didn't. Sandeepa Dhar, who plays Rajnandini, has a lovely chemistry with Akshay Oberoi too. But the narrative just falls flat. There is no pique point. When characters are subdued and willing to take life lying down, there is only so much the audience can root for. Sure, it happens in real life, but then again, that real life is boring too.

The only points of interest are the choreographed pieces of the improvised The Taming of the Shrew. The college romance was cute but it didn't grow on me.

A misfit in the 00s despite being relevant, Isi Life Mein is as much an irony as it is a shame. How I wish someone could add more spunk to the subject and bring it on yet again.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: none
  • Language: squeaky clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: a song in a pub. Girls in shorts
  • Concept: That of bridging the generation gap
  • General Look and Feel: Old school late-80s early 90s texture

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 2
  • Character Artists: 2.5
  • Dialogues: 1.5
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 1.5
  • Lyrics: 1.5

Isi life mein - Movie Details

Isi life mein - Trailer

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Comments (4)

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vishal:

I havent seen the movie yet, but reading your review, I cant help commenting a little. Its true, that there is a huge gap between the generation born after 1986 and before.
Me being part of the former, I am indeed very trad - though that was not always the case, when I lived in California. The change came about after yoga entered my life.
I'll just say that one need not ape american culture - and just because they say its ok, we say its fine too (eg, pre-marital flings, cussing, live-ins, etc)
From your point of view, you'd find a yoga way of life very boring and subdued indeed! :)
I am tempted to go just for the sake of checking out their portrayal of trad in modern life.
If I do go to see the movie, will comment further later.

meetu:

@vishal yeah, i think it will appeal to people who like movies set in the ideal world. i usually don't like such movies, but there were certain parts of "isi life mein" that appealed to me too

vishal:

@meetu it would suit me because that is where I am headed - towards an ideal world. On the surface, a predictable routinized existence may seem boring, but it serves as a fantastic platform to dive into the inner world :-)

All other reviews elsewhere on the internet were negative, but I did see sparks of some positive parts in your lines, so I'll mostly go see it soon.

Bollywood Gossip:

OK my review would be. "If you have laundry to do then do that instead". Frankly thats what I did after 25 minutes of this movie

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