There are some movies that defy logic. Movies like these ship you in an altogether different world, which is why we refer to them as 'escapist cinema'.
On the other hand, there are movies that make you think. Depicting harsh realities of life, they present truth as repugnantly as the headlines in the newspapers. Talking Pictures' DIL PE MAT LE YAAR, directed by Hansal Mehta, falls into this category.
DIL PE MAT LE YAAR tells the story of Ramsaran Pandey (Manoj Bajpai), who arrives in Mumbai from Jaunpur [a district in Uttar Pradesh], to earn a living. He gets a job in a garage, as a mechanic. There he happens to meet Kaamya (Tabu), a press reporter, who is taken by his honesty, which is hard to find in a city like Mumbai. Ramsaran falls in love with her.
Ramsaran's friend Gaitonde (Saurabh Shukla) is a small time marriage videographer. He has a poor income, which is the reason for his relationship with his wife not being right.
Kaamya begins to write a series of articles on Ramsaran as she finds him to be the 'only hope in the city of despair'. Inspired by her articles, Mahesh Bhatt wants to make a film based around the character of Ramsaran. Bhatt approaches Kaamya for it, and she readily agrees.
Kaamya starts meeting Ramsaran on a regular basis as she draws her inspiration from his real life. As a result, Ramsaran's love for her grows stronger.
But when Ramsaran tells Kaamya about his feelings, he realises that it was a big mistake. He gets jilted in love and thinks that the reason for his rejection is that he is poor. So Ramsaran decides to go to Dubai to earn money. The rest of the story revolves around his trials and tribulations, and his quest to earn money?
The basic plot of the film is interesting, but how one wishes it had been narrated keeping the hoi polloi in mind. Also, the story just does not excite the viewer till the interval point, barring a few sequences.
The pertinent question that flashes across the mind is, why does Tabu get carried away by an ordinary man's honesty when he has not done anything noteworthy? One sees no reason why she starts writing articles pertaining to his life. Ditto for Mahesh Bhatt [who plays himself, a film-maker!] who intends attempting a film on the mechanic's life when the fact remains that he (the mechanic) hasn't accomplished anything unachievable.
The film gains momentum in the second half and picks up pace only towards the pre-climax. The sequences that follow have been handled deftly and depict the darker side of the city wherein an honest man is forced into crime.
Director Hansal Mehta has made the film one-dimensional, leaving no scope for romance or music. The light scenes are those that will be identified by viewers in Mumbai mainly. To be honest, there is an overdose of Mumbai flavour in the narration, which will restrict its prospects to the boundaries of this city.
Besides the story in the first half, which is not too captivating, the film also suffers in an important department ? music. None of the songs cater to the masses, barring the number picturised on Kashmira Shah. But even this song is not enough to tempt the viewer to go in for a repeat viewing.
Sanjay Kapoor's cinematography captures the essence of Mumbai convincingly. Saurabh Shukla's script could've been developed better. Dialogues are ordinary. Action scenes are alright.
Manoj Bajpai shows sparks of brilliance in certain scenes only, mainly in the pre-climax. But the actor should restrict himself to enacting strong characters, rather than shouldering the burden of carrying the film on his shoulders solely. Playing the conventional hero successfully is not his cup of tea.
An actress of Tabu's calibre deserved a meatier role. Her characterisation should've been better defined. Her role gets insignificant in the second half. Saurabh Shukla is an excellent performer and delivers the right touches to his character. The remaining cast is adequate.
On the whole, DIL PE MAT LE YAAR is a semi-art, semi-commercial film that will appeal to a select few in Mumbai, but those looking for 'masala' will be thoroughly disappointed. Businesswise, the film might fare well at select theatres of Mumbai city, but beyond the boundaries of the city, it will find itself in troubled waters. Having been released with several big projects will also tell on its business.