wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)
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.Read more
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
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