Some scripts are a mere excuse to accommodate skin show. The screenplay of TIME PASS, directed by Chander Mishra, is one of those films that aims at titillation more than conveying a love story with the Hindu-Muslim riots as the backdrop.
The entire story takes place in one night and how the pair faces several obstacles in their path. The writer could've packaged the film with so many incidents to make it one interesting love story. But what you get to see is skin show for no rhyme or reason.
Whether the heroine is watching television or a woman is running around in a two-piece in her house [chasing the hero!], TIME PASS is all body, no soul.
TIME PASS tells the story of a college student Vishal [Arjun Punj], who develops a passion towards Jenny [Mona Chopra]. In fact, Jenny also happens to be his family friend. Vishal is possessed with the idea of making love to Jenny. His friends [Sikander Kharbanda and group] engineer a plan for him, which would help him fulfil his desire.
As per the plan, Vishal takes Jenny out in the midst of growing communal tension. As fate would have it, they run into trouble and the plan goes haywire. How they suffer, whom they meet, how they accept various challenges that come their way forms the crux of the story.
The problem with TIME PASS is that it vacillates from a love story to a lust story [everyone seems to be lusting for the heroine!] to a film that depicts the Hindu-Muslim riots. Unfortunately, barring the passion play in the film, neither the love story touches your heart, nor do the communal riots depicted on screen give you goose pimples.
In fact, certain portions of the film are so childish that you often wonder whether the writer knows what he is talking about. For instance, while the heroine's mother and sister are caught by a mob of Hindus in the middle of the night, the mob asks the mother and daughter to sing Johny Johny Yes Papa' and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' to prove that they are indeed Christians. Absurd, isn't it?
That's not all! In this time and age, when cell phone is more of a necessity than a luxury, the lead pair doesn't possess one, despite the fact that they belong to affluent families. Even their friends, all wealthy people, don't seem to have a clue about cell phones. Just one question for the writer: Is this a contemporary love story or is it set in the 1980s, when cell phones hadn't invaded India?
Despite being stranded, barring the first time when the pair tries to reach their homes by dialing their landline number, they don't even want to connect with their families subsequently. Also, the city is supposedly in flames, thanks to the riots, but when the pair embarks on their journey, the background scenes appear so very normal, with coffee shops open during the midnight hour and people roaming freely on their bikes and in cars.
Director Chander Mishra seems clueless about the changing tastes of cinegoers. The viewer of today wants the movie to be different, but within commercial parameters, but TIME PASS reminds you of the outdated cinema of 1970s and 1980s. Music is another minus point. Nothing to really rave or rant about!
Arjun Punj seems to have a massive SRK hang up and it shows all the way. Although he does an okay job at some places, he should refrain from using those typical SRK mannerisms. Mona Chopra exhibits her anatomy more than her talent. Amongst friends, Sikander Kharbanda is the best of the lot. Himani Shivpuri and Adi Irani, as Arjun's parents, are passable.
On the whole, TIME PASS is anything but a time pass flick. At the box-office, it will remain a non-starter!