Review - Straight: concept down the drain

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
quick review:

It must be some kind of an art form to not be able to utilize Vinay Pathak's brilliance as an actor. Meanwhile the jokes given to him range from sad to bad.

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Wogma Review

'It's ok to be gay', 'Imperfections make people real', 'Laughing at yourself loosens you up', 'Loosening up is of utmost importance to live life king-size', and 'A life shouldn't be lived without love' - all tacky lines yet noble thoughts. But when they are given an additional coat of honey with misty eyes, etc they become just too cheesy to digest.

Because of these sloppy lines the very pertinent, contemporary, and important subject at hand seems like a joke. There is no attempt at avoiding clichés. Sure gays are not the butt of jokes but the other elements used are slapsticky. I understand that a subject needs to be treated lightly for it to be approachable. But, this attempt to make gay look normal is done without any sensitivity to the gay guy's pathos. It is a brilliant concept to try and project homophobia without embarrassing homosexuals or stereotyping them. It is also an awesome idea to consider what might happen if this homophobic suspects that he is gay, good grief! For him and sadly for us, as an audience too.

And this entire hullabaloo to what end? Never mind the process of getting there is absolutely irrational, hardly relatable, and very suspiciously real. Also there is no flow in the process of one event leading to another. Characters are either flat or transform too easily. Some gags seem really forced in, for example, it feels like a character is given a particular name only so that a specific pun is used. It is sickening that I couldn't feel anything for a character played by Vinay Pathak.

After movies like Bheja Fry and Dasvidaniya with Vinay Pathak in the lead you sort-of begin to trust his choice of scripts and you know that at the very least they are going to be different. And different, Straight is. Only that different unfortunately doesn't always translate to good or in this case even average. How can any out-of-the-ordinary script do so much injustice to Vinay Pathak that every time he comes on screen, it hurts?

An equally pertinent question would be why Gul Panag spent her energies on a ping-pong ball type of a role. Yes, yes, explanation coming through. Remember, the woman in Hindi cinema from the 80s-90s? How she would be tossed around from Hero number 1 to Hero number 2 or parent or villain and back to Hero number 1? How can an intelligent actor like Gul and her equally intelligent character Renu do this to herself? I just can't stop shaking my head in despair

I wouldn't even know where to begin in describing my dejection with the entire sound design and visuals. Suddenly, they make you feel like you are in a cartoon film. I admit I liked the first time a car in London transitioned into a tempo-truck on an Indian road. But then, the technique was repeated too often with too loud a whoosh to be likable any further.

There are way too many coincidences in the story and we are asked to make way too many assumptions for this film to work. It's very important that sexual orientation become common talk in our lives and movies are the way to begin. But shoddily done films aren't going to cut the deal. And thus another half-decent plot goes more zig-zag than straight and in vain.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None.
  • Language: Profanity comes up a couple of times. Seduction and sex-related jokes run through.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One kissing scene. And while there's no glaring nudity, some scenes imply that two characters made love.
  • Concept: Sexual orientation is one huge vein running throught the movie.

Straight - Movie Details

Straight - Trailer

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