Not A Love Story

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

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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Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Running time: 90 minutes
More Movie Info

Not A Love Story - Preview

Not A Love Story is based on a true story. Two lovers kill a man and very Dexter-ously chop the body into pieces such that the parts fit in a few garbage bags. What seems to have caught director, Ram Gopal Verma's attention though, is that not only are these heinous mudrerers common people with good family backgrounds, but they also made love in front of a dead body. This scandalized the director enough to make it the main point of the film. The main theatrical trailer is adequately disgusting. And we can look forward to a nerve-chilling thriller.

The trailer also warns us against the typical RGV-downer - the weird camera angles including the inverted frame. And the usual RGV-style-threats, "Some crimes shock you, this one will make you shiver" and claims that "it's from the heart, but not for the faint hearted" I remember one of his films had a similar contest that challenged viewers to sit in the dark theater alone for the length of the film. These tall claims bring a smile even before the show begins.

Fortunately, the trailer at least promises to show the thrill rather than tell it in words. I'm looking forward to watching Deepak Dobriyal in a lead role. A good actor is always makes the film exciting. And there used to be a time when I'd have said the same thing about Mahie Gill. Unfortunately, I don't remember liking her work after Gulaal and Dev D.

The expectations are fairly balanced for Not A Love Story. It might have tilted towards liking the film because of RGV's claim that the psychology of a criminal intrigues him. But we know all too well that it doesn't necessarily mean that he will be able to show us the psyche through his film.

- meeta, a part of the audience

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

38 reviewers(?) - 8 yays 15 so-so 15 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...Highly recommended for all lovers of intense cinema.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...You leave the film with the painful sound of crashing dreams reverberating in your ears.... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Try not to miss this one! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Nanda, Filmfare : ...The first 20 minutes of NALS is like an amateur film school project. But don’t make up your mind just yet. The movie picks up and how.... full review

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, : ...Deepak Dobriyal gives a fine performance, especially in the rage scenes or the police custody scenes.... full review

Thumbs up, by K N Gupta, : ...The director does his job fantastically well by assigning adequate roles to the characters.... full review

Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Ram Gopal Varma is in his elements this time and the movie is likely to be patronized by discerning crowd.... full review

Thumbs up, by SpiceZee Bureau, Zee News : ...After several dismissal films, Ram Gopal Varma again comes back with a hard hitting crime of passion. His maverick style of shooting is evident in almost all frames. Closeups of actors, dark silhouettes are all there. ... full review

So-So, by Naresh Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...interesting in bits and pieces... full review

So-So, by Ankur, Desi Martini : ...Ramu Kills It, Well Almost ... full review

So-So, by Nupur Barua, : ...5Ds may be the next best thing in filmmaking, and lighting a scene may be redundant when you use one of them, but what RGV should have remembered is that a 5D is also an unforgiving camera. It enhances every flaw (skin, colour, production design, texture, everything), and such realistic magnification is not for the faint-hearted. ... full review

So-So, by Rachana, : ...Leading lady Mahi Gill (DEV D fame) gives a top-notch performance from the time she is trapped in the ugly situation. ... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...Not a bad story... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...It's far from Varma's best work, but it's not entirely unwatchable. ... full review

So-So, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...There are a lot of familiar Ram Gopal Varma elements in Not a Love Story. But what is new is the relationship between Emile/Robin (Deepak Dobriyal) and Maria/Anu (Mahie Gill). ... full review

So-So, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Zakir Husain as the crime branch investigator is good.... full review

So-So, Mixed Bag : ...Deepak Dobriyal couldn’t score a success with his act. He is very good as an obsessive lover but beyond that, he has been pretty ordinary.... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...True to form, Dobriyal plays his role of a loose cannon lover effectively, turning on the intensity in his eyes and body language to make the character believable... full review

So-So, by Stutee Ghosh, Planet Bollywood : ...Violence and blood are both expected and accepted but what is difficult to stomach is the placing of the camera. The angles from which scenes are shot are not just unusual but sometimes in bad taste and nauseating. ... full review

So-So, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...If only Varma hadn’t gone ballistic in terms of his cinematography and background score, keeping things quiet and subtle, this would have been twice the film it is now.... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...We are shown unnecessary lingering shots of the heroine's legs, underclothes, and chest... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...the film ends abruptly and leaves you with a sense of incompleteness, but while it lasts, it holds your interest.... full review

So-So, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...But as far as sheer anti-vision and shock therapy is concerned, this film might make you forgive RGV for all the sins that he has unleashed upon us prior to this effort (including his disturbingly devastating tweets) but strangely, it also makes you want to strangle him for being a tortured wizard of blatant exploitation. ... full review

Thumbs down, Daily Bhaskar : ...unconvincing from the word go... full review

Thumbs down, by Bikas Mishra, DearCinema : ...rudimentary filmmaking at the best... full review

Thumbs down, by Rony D'costa, Desi Martini : is a lust story... full review

Thumbs down, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...Watching a really terrible Ram Gopal Varma film isn’t anything out of the ordinary anymore.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions : ...The question that remains unanswered at the end of Not A Love Story is, why on earth did Varma make this soft-porn film, if not to satisfy his own predatory instincts and titillate the audience in the process? ... full review

Thumbs down, by Piroj Wadia, Free Press Journal : ...Performances are average: Mahie Gill manages her role creditably. Deepak Dobriyal as the obsessive fiancé is convincing.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...The expressive Gill does what she can, but her knees get more play than her face, which is crowded out by those shades. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Komal Nahta, koimoi : ...Watch it for the artistes’ performances.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...Powerful performances by Gill and Dobriyal add to this raw potboiler.... full review

Thumbs down, Mumbai Mirror : ...It is half-experiment and half-RGV of old: misdirected and stultifying at its worst, it's highs marked with superb performances and a handful of riveting scenes... full review

Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now : ...Despite having a very gruesome and shocking subject, the faulty narrative makes it lose its impact leading to boredom. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Like in every RGV film without fail, there are a couple of moments, and here, besides the great chin-in-hand shot, there's a neat aside where, while the prosecution lawyers are roaring in court, the judge squeezes eye-drops into his eyes. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Ruchi Mehta, Roochster : ...The annoying thing was that Rangeela song they kept playing throughout the movie, especially as her ringtone.... full review

Thumbs down, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...The courtroom drama will make you wonder what is happening and the climax will make you hate the film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India : ...You go into the movie hall knowing this is not a love story. You come out learning it's not a lot of things. But if you have a severe appetite for watching people getting severed, this would surely humour your kinky fantasy.... full review

76 tweeters(?) - 38 yays 13 so-so 25 nays

YoSarathKumar: NALS will b the PathBreaking BenchMark in the Indian Film.We want 1000 RGV"S who can Pull it off Like RGV..Love u Sir

Yashpal_: #PehchaanKaun > "NALS is sheer cinematic treat.1 of d films that u take back home & keep ''thinking'' -4stars"

yashgodbole: Not A Love Story - A brave attempt at telling the #Neeraj Grover Story

yashbash: great movie..! @RGVzoomin .! not a love story is having a superb story.!

vishakhvenugopa: wtcd "not a love story".. good work by RGV, i think this is true love!! and this is the real love story!!

VidyaParuchuri: Thoroughly enjoyed anothr masterpiece #NALS frm @RGVZoomin :-)) n loved the performance of actress Mahie Gill..she did a superb job!

vamsiraj143: "NOt a Love Story" What a fantastic screenplay by ramu very nice visual treat for movie lovers And fantastic ackground score...

vamsidijango: I saw 'Not a love story' it was awsome, its all about ramu's work

TheRedTailedBoa: Jus watchd NOT A LOVE STORY Such a vivid movie.. Som scenes reminds me my top fvrte ANGST(1983) Now m hungry for THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS.

tagore3d: Guruji, just watched 'Not A Love Story", I lovd the film...gr8 wrk guruji @RGVzoomin

sunnygoswami: Not a love story Thumbs Up...

singhcd: #singhcdFILMreviews Not a love story - I have always liked rgv films, but when it comes to crime films, he is brilliant.

shubham123321: watched muvi not a love story. really an awesum muvi ,ram gopal verma really rocks

Shravz: Zindagi ne Milegi & Not a Love story - back to back movies in a single day.... two good movies made so differently ...the beauty of cinema

sarthakthedevil: Watched Not a Love Story! Blew my head!! :D Solid cinema ;)

SangeethNath: WOW...! Wat a love story...! Very intresting screenplay done by ram gopal varma in te film NOT A LOVE STORY... commercial lovers don't in.

saaru50: RGV Rocks.He renovated the camera work with NALS , people who carry shit in their heads instead of brains pls Dnt watch this movie.

Roy_rajarshiC: NOT A LOVE STORY ...Watched it yday a good one by @RGVzoomin after sometime ...insane but honest !!

rajpalyadav: Not A Love Story is a good movie must watch!

PravinSri: Not a Love Story romantc crime thriller.........must watch

paragmasteh: Not a love story movie: ram gopal verma is getting back to his satya,company,bhoot,rangeela standards

ninadgaikwad91: Saw Not a Love Story! Good one.. really Nice movie sir @RGVzoomin

manan_vora: Not A Love Story is definitely worth a watch. Deepak Dobriyal is top class. Also, the camera is worth a mention!

love_shahruk: Sis bought bigger flat...she's so happy...took me 2 c furniture etc then saw nals,rgv,mahi & Dipak all v good,went only 4 mahi,was worth it

kunaljp: Congrats to @rgvzoomin for having the guts to make Not A Love Story. Kept the viewers glued to the screen despite knowing the story

kshiraj: I loved @RGVzoomin Not a Love Story. This filmmaker is legendary and tells stories like no one else can. Standing ovation to him!

janakiramvit: NOT A LOVE STORY-8/10.. BGM cn b loud..but shudn't b louder thn dialogues..some scenes r really ________ ..i hv no words to say..superb #fb

Husain_Shakir: Watched 'Not a Love Story'. Good movie, but not so entertaining. Not sure why some industry people say it raises bar too high in filmmaking.

hitelugu: 'Not A Love Story' Review: Beware! It Haunts You: Film: Not A Love Story Rating: 3.25/5 Banner: Bohra International...

GDayanandR: watched @rgvzoomin 's Not a love story....believe me its NOT at all a BAD movie..worth watchng...GREAT RGV

Diya_9: Not a love story is a gruesome film.. But then it was a gruesome real story that happened... I had goosebumps most of the film

DirectrSrinivas: Not a Love Story (2011)....nice

Ayushmannk_fc: "Not A Love Story" shook my psyche to the core, can still hear my heart beating with fear • Applauses to the maker @RGVzoomin

AnksReview: Anks Movie Review: "Not A Love Story (4/5)"

amitabhadubey: #RGV is back #NALS (Not a love story) must watch movie

AmandeepSingh86: This time.RAM Gopal Verma was rocks....Not A Love Story is Awesome Movie.....Mahi Gill looking so sexy....

abir_sanyal: Dear @RGVzoomin Welcome back to business.#NALS is one of the best love stories I have seen in recent times.Sometimes,more real than reality.

_logik: Kudos to @RGVZoomin for making that movie "Not a Love Story". Creepy, and Pervy at many levels, but addresses criminal psyche nicely.

TheLoneShepherd: Not a love story .. not a bad watch .. deepak dobriyal brilliant as usual .. mahie gill disappointg as alwhys..

subarnapoddar: At movie hall..Went to watch Not a love story..Not bad, but I was thinking abt the real incident, how brutal!

sonalbahuguna: Watched " not a love story".... Movie by RGV.. was so so....:)

Sethumadhavan: Not a Love Story- reminds you of the old RGV in places&is aided by the lead pair.

reddy_srikanth: Not a love story - Not so horrible, watchable :)

pr4ful: Saw "Not A Love Story" today since no lights from 10 am to 6 pm! one time decent watch! Same old weird RGV direction!

lonelycrowd: RGVs not a love story has lots of legs and little gore. The movie still works at some level. Mahi gill and dobral have good chemistry

karthik82: Not a Love Story - OK movie, unflattering camera angles & overdone music score was a little distracting. 6/10

hbhavesh: dn't knw why bt watched 'not a love story' last night !!! surprisingly it's one tym watch...

Gudagudi: Watched Not a love story.....not bad a movie...

aswathb: Watched 'not a love story' ... Watchable

aditiavalkar: 3/5 Review on Not A Love Story Movie By fenil_seta : Hail RAM GOPAL VARMA!

a_henna: Not A Love Story - good story, horrible acting, horrible camera work.

whitelight007: Not a love story is seriously NOT worth wasting ur money. Don't go even if some1 pays you to watch it.

trioyash: #ramgopalverma make pornos instead of flopbusters like not a love story. #fuckedup!

TheHauntedGhost: Not a Love Story ??!! There was 'Not A Story' at all! #NotALoveStory #RGV

sumanthere: How is "Not A Love Story" a 'film'? It's mere sequencing of an event news channels had outlined extensively. Varma has no social sense left.

streetguide: watched "NOT A LOVE STORY" 4m trivandrum.. terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible...realy...@RGVzoomin

sidaarthdudeja: this is not a love story should change its name to this should not be a movie.

shaileshkapoor: Whoever shot this film needs to be shot dead. Camera, the rapist. #NALS

samparker09: Saw Its not a love story by mistake... What a pathetic Movie!!!

RjDhvanit: Not A Love Story - 1 mirchi Chatursingh - 0 mirchi Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande - 2 mirchi

rajatbhalla13: Watched "Not a love story". Terrible movie. Really cheap attempt to piggyback the Neeraj Grover murder case.

prachisrk: Not A Love Story was beyond horrible. RGV has gone insane

PallabB: Ram Gopal Verma does not deserve a standing ovation for making Not a Love Story. It is his worst work. Unwatchable. @MaheshNBhatt

NilPrince: Movie Review: Not A Love Story Batters Your Senses

Kritism: Don't watch It's Not a Love Story, poorly executed movie that leaves a bad taste in the mouth - 2/10

kritika_saxena1: Do not watch 'its not a love story'. Ramgopal verma has gone nuts!

KanoonKaBaap: And i don't remember when was the last time a film made me so angry. May be NoSmoking which i hated also. Bt it wasn't horny at least. #NALS

jainnimit: Not-a-love-story? It's not-a-film-actually! :D

InstinctMedia: Not a Love Story = Not a Movie...

iamdarayus: Watched 'Not A Love Story' today. Didn't like it. Crazy camera angels, irritating acting from Mahi Gill and orcourse its an RGV film!

harishkh1: Saw Not A Love Story, Oh My God, Must say that , RGV is a master in Soft Porn Movies, he should specialize more, what camera angles, hihihi.

gulsanpradhan: The Film NALS is about NALS...a timid fact and a timid story.i would anytime like to watch a love story with much more intensity than NALS.

geeroo: RGV has totally lost it. Why did we have to watch 'not a love story'? Terrible movie

cinemausher: NALS was such a waste of time

AVIROCKRULES: 'Not a love story' is a love story of RGV and flop films

ankur_gupta91: "Not a love story" is not even a story....don't watch it....

5 readers - 1 yays 2 so-so 2 nays

Want to Watch, by px24 chat

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Hot bollywood news : In a nutshell, NOT A LOVE STORY will shock and thrill you. It is indeed Ram Gopal Verma’s best works

So-So, by Prabhakar

So-So, by Suman

Nay! Thumbs Down, by John Galt : Hated it.

Nay! Thumbs Down, by nickymax

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

A fist fight that Robin (Deepak Dobriyal) gets into turns into a murder and Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill) becomes his accessory to murder. Quickly they have to come up with an ingenuous way to get rid of the body and evidence.

What Worked

  • The titles had good visuals.
  • The turn that the Rangeela song takes at the end of the film.
  • The fact that a woman had women's posters in her room.
  • Deepak Dobriyal's entry into Mahie Gill's apartment. Loved the performances and the editing in that sequence.
  • Robin's contemplation on how to handle the situation.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The titles had a song with awful lyrics playing in the background.
  • The camera hovering around a hanging bra. What is this? RGV's way of scandalizing us?
  • The attention paid to RGV's own Rangeela in the beginning of the film.
  • The way the music gave away that something not-so-nice is going to happen soon.
  • How come there was smoke coming out of stuff that was burnt days ago.

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):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Not A Love Story - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
90 minutes

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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