Not A Love Story - Review

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

Superlative performances hook you into a disgusting story that comes from newspapers despite RGV going even crazier with his camera and sound departments.



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Wogma Review

What can a moment of irrationality make you do? What unspeakable, unthinkable brutality is a human being capable of, if their survival is at risk? How much more evil can the irrationality get if it is out of love, fear or anger? Not a Love Story is a dramatized version of a story that involves a murder. What makes this murder special? It is committed not by a seasoned criminal, neither by a wannabe one. Regular people, people we can see ourselves be friends with, commit the murder and worse, manage the after effects rather cold-bloodedly. And yet, the execution of the film doesn't make you feel for it any more than a newspaper item. I read the news item, shook my head in dismay, and I turned the page.

Nevertheless, while I was watching the film, I was involved and interested in what Robin (Deepak Dobriyal) and Anusha (Mahie Gill) go through after a situation led them to murder. Even though, the trailers, gave away the core story. I moved with Anusha as she giggles through pretentiously and as she faces disappointment after disappointment in landing herself a role in a film. I was unsure of her actions as she was unsure of her own motivations of how she should handle her love life. I was shocked and afraid with her. I could see Robin's love for Anusha through his possessiveness. I saw how he cared for her as he protected her from seeing gore. But, this was only and only because of the outstanding performances.

Somehow, this once, I cannot make myself give even part of the credit for the actors' job to the director. One, because how can a person who makes such awful camera and sound/music decisions have anything to do with the performances? And two, I'm not convinced the director had time to direct the actors since he was so busy with the visual and aural quirks.

In fact, I must give myself a pat on my back for not letting his gimmicks distracting me from the content of the film. Okay, I'm sure there might have been at least a scene or two where the bottom-up angle or the camera held upside down or the shifty jerky moves it made might have worked towards a scene's impact. But, past experiences with RGV films make me walk into a new film with the intention of ignoring all such trials, and thus I set a block for them all. Oh, and the loud background score - I doubt it worked even in a single scene. I don't understand the use of horror music in a thriller.

This also added to what was bothering me throughout the film even though the story, like all stories coming out of life, was interesting and the acting was ace-class. The intention of the film was to fill me with disgust towards what a person like me can be capable of, but the music and camera wanted me to get scared. Moreover, the voyeurism that takes us to Mahie Gills short-skirt hems, the in-the-face B-grade-film-style skin-show make me roll my eyes rather than bringing out the character it is trying to build. All of this took me away from the intent when it had so much potential to draw me closer.

Also, in the second half, there was an interesting court drama brewing where three versions of an event came to the forefront. But there is too little time for the game to play out, which would then mean that the film should have been longer. And if there is one thing the film got right, it is the length. So, I'll just be happy with the way the court scenes turned out.

In one of those scenes, the horrified disbelief on the faces of Anusha's friends when they find out what happened - it said, "really? No! That couldn't be." Would you believe it if one of your acquaintances, let alone friends confessed to murder? That I think is the crux of Not a Love Story. Whatever I derived from the film was despite RGV, and that is his failure.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: The base of the story is a murder and the brutal way in which the body was disposed off. Nothing is shown on screen but through reactions of the characters. That besides there is a scene with cops beating a woman to get a confession out of her.
  • Language: One or two swear words/
  • Nudity & Sexual content: The camera is focused on either Mahie Gill's cleavage or her thighs most of the time that she is on screen.
  • Concept: The inhuman human, even when he loves.
  • General Look and Feel: Grim, grainy.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 2.5
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 1

Not A Love Story - Movie Details

Not A Love Story - Trailer

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Comments (4)

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What i love about RGV movies is -its feel a raw look,Sepia mode,his play with shadows of objects,diff. type of camera angles.
RGV movies are neither A grade nor B grade there have to be some new sort of terminology for his movies.......


This movie is about something that can really b a shockable for everyone. Title of this movie is also differnt in comparision of others.. I have watched the promos and I really like it(Awesome)nice to see this movie in watch-hindi-movies


@lost_in_confusion :D

@Sai Here I gave so much importance to the camera and music because that's what the director seems to have spent so much energy on. Of course, I'm not asking for a steady cam, through out the film, for example there was this one tight close-up of Amitabh Bachchan in Nishabd that I remember liking.

@Prabhakar No, I don't hate RGV. And I'm as thankful to him as you are for his films in the 90s. The last 5 years though...

@OrdinaryDude All i am saying is that the experiment in terms of camera and sound here didn't work for me. Experiments can't be liked just because they are experiments, right?


@Suman Thank you for leaving your detailed ratings. It'd be interesting to see how you rate these films on the wogma rating scale too. :D

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