First AITRAAZ. Then ZEHER. Now FAREB. Love triangles and relationships in Hindi cinema have become bolder and volatile. The third angle in the triangle [woman] is not the type to take things lying down. She's not sugar-coated or docile anymore, but spits acid and breathes fire if provoked.
FAREB is not just a love triangle, revolving around a man torn between love [wife] and lust [the other woman], but also a murder mystery. And the women in this story go to extremes to get the man they desire.
After OOPS! [based on the life of strippers] and KHAMOSHH - KHAUFF KI RAAT [a slasher film], Deepak Tijori attempts FAREB, thereby emphasizing on the fact that he's ready to experiment with diverse genres. If Tijori showed a flair for treading the uncharted path in OOPS!, but went wrong in KHAMOSHH, he gets it right in his third attempt, FAREB.
Not that FAREB is path-breaking cinema. In fact, FAREB is too ordinary a fare as far as the script is concerned, but it's Tijori's execution that holds your interest at several points in the film.
In a nutshell, FAREB could've been a thoroughly engrossing fare, but the script curtails its prospects to a major extent.
Aditya [Manoj Bajpai] works as a creative director in an advertising agency. His wife Neha [Shilpa Shetty], a medical practitioner, is devoted to her husband and kid.
Riya [Shamita Shetty] was married to a corporate honcho [Bakul Thakker], who happened to be a client of Aditya's ad-agency. Riya and Aditya meet at a presentation and she gets attracted to him. Riya is completely smitten by Aditya and tries to seduce him time and again. He spurns her initially, but succumbs to her charms eventually. This leads to a rift between Aditya and Neha.
And then the unthinkable happens: Riya is murdered. The needle of suspicion points towards Aditya and being the prime suspect, the cops [Kelly Dorji, Hemant Pande] arrest him. Someone is also watching Aditya and blackmailing him for his affair with Riya. Who killed Riya?
FAREB isn't an original subject. A theme like this has been witnessed with regularity in Bollywood. A dash of AITRAAZ [Shamita's characterization is similar to Priyanka's], a bit of ZEHER [sexcapades outside marriage] and a tinge of BEZUBAAN [the blackmailer angle] -- mix them, shake them and FAREB is ready to be served.
From the writing point of view, screenplay writers Brijesh Jayarajan and Girish Dhamija open the cards at the very outset. A happily-married couple, a young entrepreneur who has just lost her husband, the woman seducing the man she wants to possess, the blackmailer, the rift between husband-wife... So much is packed in the first hour.
While Tijori handles the plot convincingly, the pace slows down time and again in this half. The slow pacing can still be overlooked thanks to the twists and turns in the story, which genuinely keep you involved. The intermission point, when Manoj and Shamita have an ugly confrontation, only raises the expectations from the second half.
But problems seep in during the post-interval portions
The story becomes one of those routine murder-mysteries in this half. From the motive and identity of the blackmailer to the actual culprit in the finale, the sequence of events that lead to the climax are plain mediocre. The identity of the killer does come as a surprise, but not as a jolt. That nail-biting finish is clearly lacking here!
Deepak Tijori takes two steps forward as a storyteller. He gets the grammar of film-making right this time, but the writers don't match up to his enthusiasm. Tijori has also filmed a few sequences with flourish. The courtroom sequence for instance, when Manoj bears his heart out, is well executed. Also, the sequences between Manoj and Shamita, from the time they meet to the spat at the interval point, remain with you.
Writers Brijesh Jayarajan and Girish Dhamija could've thought of a far more imaginative and innovative way to take the story to the finale. Anu Malik's music is in sync with the film and thankfully, the songs don't pop up every fifteen minutes. 'Pehle Se Ab Woh Din Hain' and 'Barasja Ae Badal Barasja' [two versions, at the start and end credits] are tracks that come easy on your lips.
Cinematography [Manoj Soni] is of standard. Dialogues [Girish Dhamija] are okay. Editing [Asif Khan] could've been sharper.
Manoj Bajpai handles his role with amazing ease. He is superb in two sequences mainly, his angry outburst [with Shamita] and the courtroom sequence in the pre-climax. Shilpa Shetty maintains the studied silence part with grace and maturity. Shamita Shetty is getting better with every film. First ZEHER and now FAREB, she has evolved into a fine actor. Also, she exhibits her anatomy without any inhibitions. Kelly Dorji is expressionless. Milind Gunaji and Parmeet Sethi are okay.
On the whole, FAREB is an average fare. At the box-office, the not-too-happening star cast coupled with ordinary merits and a super-strong opposition [DUS] will result in FAREB going unnoticed.