Cast: Rahul Dev, Audrie Woodhouse, Tisca Chopra, Gulshan Grover
Director: (Late) Pankaj Advani
Producer: Brian Brake
The first thing that excited me about picking up the just released DVD of this relatively old film was the name Pankaj Advani. The director (who is no more) had made Sankat City, a really entertaining caper thriller that had boasted of a Guy Ritchie flavour. To know that he had actually directed one film before this was a revelation in itself and with names like Tisca Chopra and Gulshan Grover involved along with Scotland as its setting was exciting enough for me to check out the film.
Unfortunately though watching this short feature film (lasting just about 70 minutes) turned out to be a torturous and a regrettable experience.
Picking on the theme of ‘karma’ where the adage of ‘what you sow, so shall you reap’ comes alive all over again, the film is about a man (Rahul Dev) who meets a stranger (Audrie Woodhouse),wife of a rich businessman (Gulshan Grover). Both fall in ‘lust’ with each other and just when it seems that this relationship may culminate into something special, Rahul’s past (Tisca Chopra, his wife) catches up with her. It is Karma that plays its game with these four lives.
Okay, so the film starts off on a bizarre note and stays on like that right through its course. Fair enough, now that’s the route the director wanted to take and it was his prerogative. However what pains you most about this ‘made-in-English’ film is that it tries too hard to be different. This means you see different shades of frame capturing on display as one scene transitions to another. At times you have the story moving forward, then all of a sudden it starts moving backwards (well, literally) and then in between all of this it also gets into a silent movie zone.
This isn’t all as there are also other vague elements being added in the name of motifs and metaphors. Now these are the kind of elements that come with a disclaimer of ‘Perhaps the film was too ahead of its times’. However the fact remains that in any era, these elements will hardly entice audience to give the film a thorough watch.
Picture this. There is a door which is standing all by itself in the middle of the road (and perhaps trying to indicate a ‘doosri sub conscious waali duniya’ and stuff alike in motion. Then there is the entire series of events happening, all of which lead to a dream within a dream scenario. Not just that as there is also a mysterious man on a boat trying to mime along while playing around with his fishing road. And then how can one forget a rose being crushed and the slow motion shot trying to capture it while forcing audience to comprehend what really is happening.
Even from performances perspective there is nothing much to write home about. Tisca Chopra is shown as sitting still for most part of her screen time. Gulshan Grover clearly seems trapped in a role that reminds one of his role in Jism. Rahul Dev is just being himself while less said about the (supposedly) centre of attraction Audrie Woodhouse, the better. A non-actor, she doesn’t even exude oomph despite being half naked in almost all her scenes.
The film’s duration is 72 minutes
– 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
– Subtitles – None
– Dolby Digital 5.1
I would rather recommend viewers to cherish Sankat City all over again and remember Pankaj Advani by that film instead of even trying to play on Cape Karma.