Friday, January 18, 2013


Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 18th January, 2013
Time : 150 minutes
Director : Sudhir Mishra; Writer : Manoj Tyagi; Music : Shantanu Moitra;
Starring : Chitrangda Singh, Arjun Rampal, Vipin Sharma, Deepti Naval, Shivani Tanksale, Mohan Kapoor

Flirting. Sexual harassment. Power politics. Consensual sex. The corporate rat race. Love. All ingredients blend seamlessly and a bit confusingly as the lives of two people intersect, both high in terms of hierarchy, both unwilling to back down and both it seems, with motives other than what is apparent. The first half is quite good, builds things up well. The second falls apart with an end that’s unexpected as well as disappointing.

Chitrangda, the National Creative Director of an ad agency, has filed a complaint against her boss (?), the CEO, Arjun Rampal. He also happens to be her former mentor (has taught her everything she knows), lover, friend and advisor. The story unravels as the two depose before a panel, headed by Deepti Naval and populated by other agency people like Vipin Sharma, Shivani Tanksale, each of whom have their own point of view, their own loyalty and friendship. Frequent flashbacks trace the past, including incidents brought up as proof or rebuttal, sometimes the same episode shown from different perspectives.

The first half is tight, filled with tension. A scowling Arjun Rampal feels insulted at having to talk to the panel, angry that he is being of accused of something he he denies. “What is the difference between flirting and harassment ?”, he thunders once. “Who has benefited from whom ?” he asks, “I’ve taught her everything she knows !”. “Yes, he’s taught me everything”, replies a feisty Chitrangda, “but does that mean I should spread my legs everytime he walks in ?”. They both come across as honest, earnestly trying to convince the panel the other is at fault.

Other motives creep in the second half. Other people, other vested interests enter the picture. And suddenly, we’re not really sure what the two characters are about ? What makes them tick ? What is the true reason behind the case ? How will it solve itself ? But when the end happens, there is a feeling of being let down – its not consistent with either Arjun or Chitrangda’s character, nor does it seem logical.

Arjun suits his role, putting his limited facial expressions to good use, coming across every inch as a man with a touch of hubris, one to whom flirting comes naturally and scoring has never been an issue. Chitrangda sizzles as she tries to balance the different aspects of her character – part Alpha Female, part giddy teenager, part vengeful, part seductress and a little bit of a victim of her own success and circumstance. Vipin Sharma, Asheesh Kapur and Viveck Vaswani also stand out in their respective cameos.

Advertising agencies are always seen as being more bohemian, more permissive than other workplaces. Successful women often do have to face the slur of having slept their way up. Love is usually hard to find in modern office spaces, commitment probably harder, especially from men at the top. There are several insights that make sense, issues raised that hit uncomfortably home. But unfortunately, it doesn’t tie up or come together perfectly. At the end of the film, I’m not sure what either Arjun or Chitrangda were about anymore. And that’s not a nice feeling to leave with, in a drama dominated by these two characters …

PS : My bias for Chitrangda is well documented in my reviews of her earlier films, so not repeating that disclaimer here…


Anonymous said...

Its the ending that worked for me. Among other things, the movie had raised a question that I think is an important one- for poeple who want many more things than just love, can they get true love. I liked the answer. The sond 'tere mere darmiyaan' sizzles while the ending unfolds. The mobile phone in the trash can was a symbol of

Apurv Nagpal said...

Am really glad it worked for you. Would v much like Sudhir's film to succeed. I found it incongruous with the characters shown till then + if that had been true, things would probably have taken a different turn a few years ago...(or so I think)

Dosti said...

The film oozes of the glamour of advertising industry, the fire to excel, greed to achieve, clashes of egos and anger for revenge. Plus, feel yourself lost in the songs which are brilliantly penned and sung with quite a panache. The tussle between Rahul(suave outside and stern inside) vs.Maya (gorgeous and confident outside and lonely and insecure) makes for an interesting on screen drama. the last half hour truly makes up for some of the loose ends in the first half. A movie you can easily connect to as it touches the life of today's corporate employee somewhere.