When a movie wins enthusiastic appraisals, distinction and ovation at international film festivals, it robotically generates tremendous curiosity for movie enthusiasts on home turf. On the surface, LOVE, WRINKLE-FREE, helmed by first-time director Sandeep Mohan, may come across as one of those mundane love stories, but the fact of the matter is that the film talks of love beyond cosmetic barriers and also attempts to stimulate the lost romance in relationships.
Sandeep Mohan's take on a dysfunctional family is real, smart, clever and yes, amusing. Here's an indie film that has its heart in the right place!
Set in Goa, LOVE, WRINKLE-FREE is a story about Savio [Ash Chandler], a 38-year-old Senior Area Sales Manager who works in an inner wear company. Savio's mundane life is thrown out of gear with the unplanned pregnancy of his 46-year-old wife Annie [Shernaz Patel]. Complicating matters further is how their adopted teenage daughter Ruth reacts to this pregnancy and a chance meeting Savio has with a sensual traveling photographer Natalie, who wants him to do something 'unique' for her.
To start with, Sandeep Mohan's film is a tribute to Goa, with the DoP capturing the scenic locales and also the old-world charm with dexterity on celluloid, right from the beaches, houses, roads, the unusual lifestyle, the local ambience. While the director unhurriedly introduces his characters and the plot in the first hour [the narrative is punctuated with good humor and well executed dramatic sequences], the film falls prey to mediocrity and loses focus in the post-interval portions.
Plenty of reasons: There are moments that make you restless. There are scenes that seem unwarranted. In fact, the narrative could've been crisper, with the editor using the scissors judiciously in this hour for a better impact.
Sandeep Mohan couldn't have cast better actors here. Both Ash Chandler and Shernaz Patel are top notch. Chandler is charming, natural and easy on the eyes. The best part is, he's so real. Shernaz is a delight to watch, essaying her character with supreme understanding. In fact, Ash and Shernaz make a quirky onscreen couple. Seema Rahmani is faultless, while Arika Silaichia lends the right shades to her character. Ashwin Mushran and Sohrab Ardeshir add life to their respective roles.
On the whole, despite the deficiencies, LOVE, WRINKLE-FREE is watchable and appealing, is humorous and amusing, especially because the director and the lead actors get it right. Deserves a watch!