Incidents that affect a common man in a metropolis are slowly making their way on the Hindi screen. In HULLA, it's a whistle that blows things out of proportion. Who would've thought of making a film on an uncanny subject? But fresh concepts are always welcome...
Debutante director Jaideep Varma picks up a story you can identify with, especially by those living in Mumbai. And the humour injected in the narrative makes you break into uncontrollable laughter at times. But Jaideep Varma, the director is letdown by Jaideep Varma, the writer.
Here's why! After setting up things so beautifully in the first hour, you expect an encore in the second hour. But it's not engaging at all. In fact, it's a repetition of what you've watched in the first half. The story stagnates and the movie hardly moves. Clearly, the writing in this hour lacks meat.
In a nutshell, HULLA makes you whistle intermittently, not after having watched it in totality.
Raj [Sushant Singh], an aggressive broker in a broking firm and Abha [Kartikadevi Rane], a marketing professional move into a new 2-bedroom flat in a Mumbai suburb. Cracks start appearing in their ideal existence when Raj, a light sleeper, is disturbed by noises at nights.
Finally, one night, Raj goes down to investigate and discovers that it is the night watchman blowing the whistle periodically in the night to scare thieves away. Raj scolds the watchman and forbids him from making any further noise, but the Secretary of the building Janardhan [Rajat Kapoor] insists on the whistling continuing in lieu of the building security.
An issue that starts out lightly and amusingly trivial begins to escalate to take the shape of a serious problem for Raj. Not being able to sleep at night begins to take a serious toll on him, both professionally and personally. At work, he becomes edgy and his usual smart sense of judgment suffers. At home, he becomes obsessed with any loud noises in the environment.
Making people laugh is tough, but HULLA makes you break into a smile, at times laughter, even guffaws at vital points. The sheer novelty of the subject and its execution catches you unaware. While there's consistency in terms of execution, it's the written material that's inconsistent.
The Chief Minister's track is completely unwarranted. Also, there's not much clarity as to how Sushant and Rajat's lives move from bad to worse in the finale. A simpler way to conclude the story would've worked wonders.
Jaideep Varma has the makings of a fine storyteller, although he needs to brush up on technique. Also, the film could've done with better production values. Paramvir Singh's cinematography is strictly okay.
Both Sushant and Rajat enact their parts convincingly. It helps when you cast such competent actors. Kartikadevi Rane is efficient. Mandeep Mazumdar is perfect. Vrajesh Hirjee is natural. Darshan Jariwala throws that cold look most convincingly. The actor enacting the role of the security guard is excellent.
On the whole, HULLA has an entertaining first hour, but is letdown by a loose second half. At the box-office, it caters to select multiplexes of select cities only. However, for the producers, it's a profitable venture since the shoe-string budget and the recovery from theatrical and non-theatrical avenues should ensure neat profits.