Never judge a book by its cover! With a title like THE FILM and not-too-impressive names on and off screen, an average moviegoer wouldn't be too charged to watch the film. But once the lights are switched off and the reels begin to unfold, you realize that THE FILM isn't a routine Hinglish fare or one of those churned out by the yuppie brigade that assembles at the coffee outlets of Lokhandwala Complex, swearing to change the face of Bollywood.
THE FILM may fall short of 'names' to attract moviegoers, but you've to give it to debutante writer-director Junaid Memon for coming up with a fare that's realistic, but within commercial parameters.
However, the vital question is, would the average moviegoer be interested in shelling out Rs. 150 for a ticket that doesn't star the Khans, Kumars or Roshans and hasn't been directed by the Chopras, Johars or Dhawans? Add to it, the low-key publicityï¿½
Irrespective of its fate at the box-office counters, there's no denying that THE FILM is a sincere attempt by a storyteller to narrate a genuinely hatke story concerning the aspirations of seven wannabes who want to make it big in Bollywood. But choose the wrong path for making it big in lifeï¿½
Sushmita [Mahima Chaudhary], Vijay [Khaled Siddiqui], Irfan [Vivek Madan], Nandini [Ananya Khare], Ankita [Chahat Khanna], Aditya [Vaibhav Jhalani] and Raman [Ravi Gosai] are seven 'strugglers' residing at Aunt Braganza's [Sulbha Deshpande] cottage. Facing hardships at every step -- all aspire to make it big in Bollywood -- they hatch a plan to raise money by resorting to extortion.
Their target: The leading diamond dealer turned film financier!
But their plan misfires since the head cop [Naseer Abdullah] traces the identity of one of the seven. The plan goes kaputï¿½
Writer-director Junaid Memon borrows from the film industry [even the names of the patriotic film-maker and film financier rhyme with the real ones!] and comes up with a fare that keeps you hooked to the proceedings. The story doesn't really hold interest in the initial stages, but gathers momentum the moment the seven execute the plan.
However, the climax of the film, though a shocker, is bound to meet with mixed reactions. Although the finale is in sync with the story and does catch the viewer by surprise, it isn't the type that would be digested by one and all.
Memon's work as a first-timer is laudable. The director knows what he's talking and to his credit, he keeps you involved in the proceedings at most times. Music is functional. Cinematography is alright.
The performances in THE FILM range from first-rate to average and the ones who impress the most are Mahima Chaudhary [excellent in the concluding reels], Vivek Madan [another fine performance], Ravi Gosai [competent] and Vaibhav Jhalani [decent]. Khaled is adequate, while Ananya Khare and Chahat Khanna are mediocre.
On the whole, THE FILM is a decent attempt by a first-time director, who has focused more on the story than the stars. At the box-office, however, the lack of hype coupled with the lack of face-value will make the effort go unnoticed. It's only hope is a strong word of mouth recommendation!