wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)
A slice of Indians' lives in American suburbia. Interactions between people from various backgrounds, ethnicities and age groups are captured gently. Not remotely as abstract as the title sounds.Read more
Imagine you are visiting a friend or relative and they happen to have invited a group of friends. You as an audience are then just sitting in a corner and observing these people interact and react with each other. You know bits and pieces of their lives and are exposed to their prejudices and vulnerabilities.
Karma aur Holi is not too worried about the pace. It doesn't at all look rushed especially considering that it's covering some 10-odd characters in just 90 minutes. And while a movie that covers so many characters usually jumps from one's story to another this one had a certain flow. That it was all happening in one house might have contributed to that feel. Because it's just like the audience is walking from one room to another. Also after a long-long time the characters accents felt real.
The casting was just perfect. The gorgeous Sushmita Sen is perfect as the charming hostess, Mira. She juggles between being diplomatic and firm like any home-maker would do. Randeep Hooda, Mira's husband is trying to run a business while sticking to his guns. And then there are the whole range of characters from various age groups and ethnicities. I particularly enjoyed Rati Agnihotri's performance as the jittery, intolerant, middle-aged mother of a teenager. The teenage son was pretty good at what he did too! And I almost wanted to counsel Suchitra Krishnamurty's character as the suppressed wife to break the shackles and run for her life. One character we wouldn't have missed would be the voiceover narrator! He was so redundant.
As usual, such stories feel a desperate need to have a resolution for each character. And the desperation shows. Thankfully though the closure for most of the threads is not forced. Except for the Rati Agnihotri-Suresh Oberoi angle. The transformation there was absolutely unwarranted and left a very 'this happens only in films' feel.
And yet despite all the things that were good about Karma aur Holi, there was a 'no big deal' attached to it. The holi and suburban New York background had nothing to do with it really. The characters were all very similar either us or someone we know. That gives it a real feel but it also doesn't make it anything spectacularly special.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs down, by Shashi Baliga, Hindustan Times : ...All you’ll get is uniformly stilted dialogue, amateurish acting for the most part and a mish-mash of stereotypes as Sen acts like the real-life diva she is... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Mira (Sushmita Sen) and Dev (Randeep Hooda) organize a get-together of people they know for Holi. Some of them don't know each other from earlier on but as the evening progresses dark secrets surface.