An intense look at characters, their motivations and their inter-relationships. If only the resolution didn't seem funny and thus out-of-place.
Skip the italicized bits to read review. The italicized bits are my thoughts on the on-going war in Mumbai interspersed in between the review.
Over 40 hours since the country has been held hostage. Each one of us hostage to TV channels, internet reports, or twitter and some of us hostages inside the Taj, or The Oberoi or Nariman House. Each one either scared or worried or angry or frustrated or some combination thereof. But each one of us helpless.
What can we do? Abuse the government, opposition, media? Did that and got bored within 20 minutes. What else can I do? The only thing I can think of is to panic as little as possible and continue the routine. So here I am doing what I do every Friday. Trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to ignore what's happening 150kms away, trying to keep my angst on the world outside from making a judgment on the world inside the dark, secure(?) cinema hall.
Bold themes and atypical resolutions are fascinating. And this time around Onir explores relationships in detail - the love angle, the love triangle, the husband-wife, the parent-son. Unexpectedly though, the brother-brother relationship is left half-baked, even untouched. Yet, there is enough in there to keep you engrossed and wonder, what next?
The basic premise, the love triangle, takes you through the confusion of the mature characters. There's no beating around the bush. The characters all behave like a normal person in that situation would. The second premise feels like it is right out of a Mahabharat side-story that made it to an Amar Chitra Katha comic of its own. Boons and curses. And then the inevitable loophole or way-out of the curse. It was comical too, but very contemporary. At one point I actually thought Shabana Azmi was going to pull a Kunti
Maybe I'm just seeing war where there isn't any...
Sharman Joshi is just awesome as the unsure guy who is torn-between-two ideologies. Chitrangadha Singh looks ravishing and convinces us that she's one confused woman. Boman Irani as the daddy cool, and Shabana Azmi as the mom wanting to fit in with the new generation, are used more as comic relief. But they fill the screen with life even when they are taunting or angry. The chemistry this cute, oldie couple shares makes you want to be like them, when you are older.
I want to grow old. I don't want to die today. I want lessons on how to be that sarcastic mom-in-law...
Of course, the witty lines - funny or otherwise - help every one set the right mood throughout the movie. Your heart might not reach out to any single character, because none of them want to do the "right thing". But, except for Harry's (Sanjay Suri's) exaggerated selfishness, the situations are real enough for us to keep judgment at bay too. Each character seems right in their confined space. And the lines get blurry, as they always do, as you add in external factors - people or situations.
This is one of those movies I'd watch again when I'm in a less agitated frame-of-mind. If not for the unusual storyline and climax, as a study of characters.
Yes, the situation has improved and the mind feels more relaxed now...gotten used to it? Already??
- meetu, a part of the audience