Friday, February 04, 2011

Yeh Saali Zindagi

Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 4th February, 2011
Time : 130 minutes
Director & Writer : Sudhir Mishra; Music : Nishat Khan, Abhishek Ray (title track bonus version)
Starring : Irrfan Khan, Chitrangda Singh, Arunoday Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari, Yashpal Sharma, Sushant Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Prashant Narayanan, Vipul Gupta, Vipin Sharma

There is a remix version of the title track that has some whacky sounds and beats that seem to do justice to this off beat film. Weird, quirky characters and situations. Equally weird dialogues and sounds. It confuses and captivates, grips you without really making you care. Also, for a change in Hindi films, the second half is better than the first. And then there is Chitrangda (my bias for her well chronicled in my reviews of her earlier films Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Sorry Bhai).

The film is about love, unrequited or otherwise. Irrfan is besotted by Chitrangda. She, though, is in love with Vipul Gupta. Both of them are kidnapped by Arunoday, who has just got out of jail and wants to leave it all because he loves his wife (Aditi) and she wants him to give up his way of life. Arunoday is also caught in a gang battle between two brothers, Yashpal Sharma (a golden hearted villain) and Prashant (who seems to swing both ways) and a corrupt cop (Sushant) who swings whichever way the wind blows. Throw in Saurabh Shukla (Irrfan’s boss and hates Chitrangda) and also Shyam’s fiancĂ©e (daughter of an influential politician and the real target of the kidnapping) and you begin to get an idea of the tangled web being woven…

The first half is disconcerting. Too many characters, an uneven pace, no clarity on what is happening, who’s who and even the editing (switching between flashback and the present) doesn't help. The second half makes up by making the plot thicken and threading some interesting, unexpected twists and turns in. However, the fundamental flaw is that while we possibly like or dislike some characters, we love or hate none. Either things happen too fast or there are too many questions hanging over their actions. Why does Irrfan love Chitrangda even though she clearly doesnt ? Why does she love Vipul, is she a gold digger ? The Arunoday and Aditi love track is a little clearer but seems far more physical, not the kind that will make either of them change the course of their lives the way it does.

There is a fine ensemble cast here, really good performances. The music is very good, particularly the Sararara song and a soft number, Kaise Kahein Alvida. Even the background music is nice, keeping pace with the mood of the film.

I enjoyed the film but clearly its not for everyone. Slightly dark, gritty, a jerky pace and profanity laced dialogue. However there is wit, humour (situational and otherwise) and enough interest in the storyline to carry us through. And for those who do stay for the ride, you get something different, off the normally safe and well treaded track…

1 comment:

ism said...

I usually agree with your reviews but 6 is far too generous for this one.