Saturday, December 13, 2014

Main aur Mr. Riight : A romantic comedy wannabe but debutant Barun Sobti shines!




Movie - Main aur Mr. Riight
Director - Adeeb Rais
Starring : Shehnaz Tresurywala, Barun Sobti (debut), Kavi Shastri, Varun Khandelwal, Maia Sethna, Anagha Mane among others


MAMR tells the story of an independent casting director Aliya Raj (Shehnaz Tresurywala) who is a perfectionist in her personal life as much as she is in her professional life. She is on the lookout or rather is forced to be on the lookout for her perfect Mr. Right. She is also the narrator of the film and it is through her voice and feelings that the audience paves its way through the movie, the characters and their interpersonal relationships.

Tired of her friends’ constant jibes at her inability to find any man good enough for her, Aliya decides to cook up her Mr. Right and casts the wannabe actor ‘born in Punjab, brought up in Delhi’ Sukhwinder Singh aka Sukhi (Barun Sobti) in the 'role'. And thus begins the charade - written, casted and directed by Aliya Raj but does this charade work out - for Aliya and for the movie in itself?

The answer to the latter is uncertain but bordering heavily on a 'No'.

This is Adeeb Rais’ debut movie and unfortunately, if one be blunt, it shows. There is hardly any coherence in the way the story moves forward from the preliminary setting up of the plot. The same plagues his characters who all seem to be confused and more than that confusing, cursed with mistaken rage or just plain lethargy in their conceptualisation and development. All of Aliya’s friends have the irritating habit of dissecting their lives and relationships in full public view and even more annoying is the fact that these outbursts make little connection to what was going on in the story previously. They are all disconnected and hence unenjoyable. What makes it even worse is the terrible performances by the ensemble cast except Kavi Shastri who in his small and meaningless role still manages to infuse some spirit.

The film lacks a proper storyline, seems hackneyed which can still be defended by saying that it is a rom-com on an oft repeated subject so certain plots would be predictable but even then the movie could have had an energetic spirit which is sorely missing. And the worst part, is that the whole movie seems like little scenes which have been put together with little concern for them to make sense in a broader meaning of the term or for them to even be of a slightly high standard. There are many romantic comedies of this kind out there but one roots for those where the treatment is novel and well done if not the story and the plot itself.

However what works for the movie (and the producers seem to have realised it as well if one considers the marketing of this film) is the fantastic work by debutant Barun Sobti who is known for his strong and varied performances on the small screen. Barun’s character is full of energy as would be typically expected of a role of a wannabe actor with Punjabi roots and a not fancy background. And this is where the earlier point resonates. Barun’s character is hackneyed and done to death but he still manages to infuse it with a lovable, energetic, soulful spirit which propels you to sit through 2 hours of the movie and root for the guy! Barun did great work on his part and one could only hope that he had chosen a better launch vehicle for himself. In any case, a little attention on voice modulation and strength and conviction in dialogue delivery should do the trick for him because he already has all the other things down - talent, charisma, presence and looks and of course the fan base. And all of this is underlined when in the second half of the film, one begins to miss Mr. Sobti's energetic and soulful rendition of Sukhi due to the less screen time given to him.

Coming to Shehnaz, she looks confident like her character should and is beautiful but one wishes that a little less attention had been given to her assets and a little more to honing her performance because she could have done this role with a lot more el├án than she does. The surprise package of the film is the guy who plays Aliya’s assistant. I could not catch his name but he was a breath of fresh air, specially in a film where the rest of the ensemble cast seemed to have a competition going on about who could be the most deadbeat performer of them all. Adeeb’s casting for Aliya’s friends (with the lone exception of Kavi Shastri) brings down the film a few notches than what it could have been with actors who actually knew how to act.

The music is a definite plus and I am still humming the soulful ‘Bhool Na Jaana’ and the remix version of Bappi Lahiri's 'Yaar Bina', so that is a job well done.

In conclusion, ‘Main aur Mr. Riight’ looks like an amateur film project with a good budget (as is evident in the overall 'look' of the film) and good marketing (the first look, trailers, posters were all extremely promising) and with one strong performance and a couple of decent ones but with no novel treatment of a hackneyed storyline. However as this is Adeeb’s debut film, one must not lose hope and I wish that he learns from his mistakes and comes back with a better film - story, treatment and casting wise.

Verdict : Watch it if you are a Barun Sobti fan, definitely watch it if you are a Barun Sobti fan because the man shines. Others, watch it if you have a little money, very less expectation and two hours to spare and/or if you want to judge Barun Sobti as an upcoming actor.

3 comments:

  1. Completely agree with you. Barun was par excellence in nearly every frame he occupied. And as far as your review is concerned, it was to the point, crisp & very well written, as always. Look forward to more! :)

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  2. I haven't watched the movie yet but I'm going to watch it tomorrow only for Barun Sobti, the man who was MIA since Dec 2012.
    Your review resonates with many other viewers where absence of Barun is concerned in the second half. The lack of a crisp screenplay has plummeted my hopes a little.
    But I look forward to it for the sake of the man you have said shines in it.
    Aquagal

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