Last year, UDAAN made a sweeping impact on cineastes, so much so that the honors, compliments and accolades keep pouring in to this day. Besides winning tremendous critical acclaim and bagging awards, the film struck a chord with everyone watching it. The poignant and disturbing relationship between a father and son seemed straight out of life. Now YEH FAASLEY explores the relationship between a father and daughter.
However, comparing UDAAN and YEH FAASLEY would be blasphemous, mainly because UDAAN captured the tense moments between the father and son with aplomb, on paper as well as on celluloid. On the other hand, YEH FAASLEY has an interesting premise, but its writers [Yogesh Mittal, Atul Tiwari and Rajendra P. Makhijani] make a complete mess of it and what eventually unfolds on celluloid is mincemeat of a brilliant thought.
Ideally, one would've expected YEH FAASLEY to be an emotional journey, wherein the daughter discovers a shocking truth: Her mother was murdered by her father. Again, the daughter's fight for justice would've only added a new dimension to the film. But the writing goes horribly wrong after an interesting start and what comes across on screen is clichÃƒÂ©d, formulaic and ridiculous. Besides, the film gets lengthy and tedious, more so in its second hour.
Arunima [Tena Desae], the daughter of one of the biggest builders in town, has returned home after completing her studies. She is happy that she will now be living with her father Devinder Dua [Anupam Kher] for good. Arunima lost her mother to a car accident when she was barely two. Arunima just wishes that her mother was alive, but she is somewhere content that her mother and father had a happy love story as long as it lasted.
To her surprise Arunima finds a will written by her mother. Why would a woman, who died in a car accident and that too at an early age of 28, leave a will for Arunima? The presence and the essence of the will raise a few questions in Arunima's mind. But the father is not very comfortable answering questions related to the past.
Arunima further chances upon a few things from the past and it is a revelation for her that her mother's personality was very different to what her father had recounted. She further meets an old friend of her mother, Diggy [Pawan Malhotra], and a few people from the past who tell stories that point in the direction that her mother was not as happy as long as she lasted.
With the image of the past being different to what her father has been telling her, Arunima is left in doubt about what really is the past, especially when the father is not giving a conclusive answer. Gradually, Arunima starts to learn about the many shades of her father that she has never seen. Arunima is torn between the love for her father and the truth.
Like I pointed out at the outset, it's the written material that lets director Yogesh Mittal down. There are gaping holes in the screenplay that can't be overlooked. Also, some of the characters in the film [Seema Biswas, Rajendra Gupta, even Suhasini Mulay] are completely under-utilized and one wonders, why were they included in the story in the first place? The post-interval portions seem never-ending, the courtroom drama in this half lacks punch and the conclusion to the story is old-fashioned and beaten to death.
Despite the inept writing, I must add that director Yogesh Mittal has handled a number of sequences capably. But how one wished the writing would've complimented his skills. The cinematography is incosistent [DoP: Amitabha Singh]. A few scenes seem out of focus and a few, grainy. Also, the film could've done without songs.
Anupam Kher may have essayed the role of a father several times in the past, but the portrayal of a father in this one stands out amongst his best works. Tena handles her part with complete understanding and confidently matches a veteran like Anupam at every step. Pawan Malhotra doesn't really get a chance to showcase his skills. Rushad Rana does reasonably well.
Mazhar Sayed [the young Anupam Kher] leaves an impact. Rachita [the mother] stays with you, despite the limited footage. Suhasini Mulay, Rajendra Gupta, Seema Biswas and Natasha Sinha are wasted. Kiran Kumar is okay. Jagat Rawat [caretaker of the bungalow] is efficient. Sudha Chandran is hardly there. Satyajit Sharma [the lawyer] is competent.
On the whole, YEH FAASLEY fails to deliver.