Friday, March 31, 2006
This small little film generated tremendous interest being an English language film with an entirely Bollywood cast. Director Homi Adajania expertly handles a multilayered film which is dark, witty and finely enacted. The film tells the tale of a 'drifter', Cyrus (Saif Ali Khan) who befriends a parsi family and comes to live with them. The film then delves into the daily lives of the family, peeling layer after layer from their seemingly hum drum life. But all is not hunky dory. Illicit affairs, drug addiction, ambition, romance and murder lurk in the background. How Cyrus forms part of this sordid tale is what the film is all about. Does he get involved? Is he hiding some personal motive? Why has he come this family? Or is he a victim of circumstance? The film goes about answering these questions.
The acting is first rate. Nasseeruddin Shah as the drug addicted potter is fantastic but hopelessly underused. Dimple Kapadia steals the show with her hyperactive performance as the lady of the house trying to find a way out of her boring and middleclass existence. Boman Irani as the obnoxious younger brother is also superb. Simone Singh is adequate.
The film is certainly a smart one. It is dark, probing and witty. The dialogues are great. But all in all I feel thats all that the film is...smart. Sometimes too smart for its own good. It ends up being a super screenplay but has very little depth. Characters could have been elaborated more, I felt. Its swift and to the point but the ride is only enjoyable while it lasts. One must also commend actors like Saif and Dimple to take on unconventional, small English language films. Directors could use a little support from the 'stars'.