Monday, January 21, 2013

Refusals Of An Escapist

Unlike the promotional material suggests, Sudhir Mishra’s Inkaar isn’t as confusing with its premise. No, it’s not about sexual harassment at work; it’s not about the dark practices inside an advertising agency; and it is definitely not about giving a message. Inkaar boldly tells a tale of love that is hurdled only by strong ambition. It sees the return of Mishra’s muse Chitrangda Singh along with a surprising male lead in Arjun Rampal.

Through a non-linear narrative that oscillates between a sexual harassment court hearing in the present and several instances from the past that are referred to by those involved. Yes, reminds you instantly of what you saw in Social Network, a couple of years ago. But the flow of the screenplay keeps you glued to it without focusing on the inspiration. The treatment fits the plot very well, especially the element where the audience isn’t exterior to the film, but a part of it. Deepti Naval, who plays a social worker who is presiding over the case, becomes the representative of the audience. Her roles and responsibilities where she has to process all the facts before passing a judgment makes you do the same and her dilemma is your dilemma. Inkaar forces you to think and judge the characters’ actions and makes you take sides before ultimately ridding you off all those responsibilities by dumping a conclusion upon you.

Arjun Rampal plays Rahul Varma, a CEO of an advertising agency and recruits Maya Luthra (Chitrangda) who is a prodigy. He trains her, makes her able and while their professional relationship grows, romance also grows under its skin. But Maya’s ambitions exceed all other priorities and the couple fall out of favour with one another. Then begins a saga of bitterness where both parties get hurt and just when the situation reaches boiling point, the film turns off the stove. Mishra builds a strong plot, strong characters and takes the story to a high point, but ends it like an escapist. An ending that might not appeal to a lot of people, Inkaar leaves you wanting a different conclusion to a problem that demands more than a passive submission. The battle between love and ambition, at least in the context of the film, should not have ended in a ceasefire.

Chitrangda Singh shows glimpses of her potential in certain scenes. Her character of Maya, whose journey through seven years is shown in the film, ages well and portrays a 22-year-old girl with equal conviction as a 30-year-old-woman, who is a national creative director of an ad agency. Sadly for Arjun Rampal, the aging through years happens only on paper. He fails to bring the necessary changes in his body language in an otherwise satisfactory performance. With Vipin Sharma and Deepti Naval in important supporting roles, the overall cast ensemble does a good job.

With a terrific first half, Inkaar takes you into the interval on a high, it raises your hopes and makes you wait for an equally intense second half. Unfortunately, the second half only begins where it left and ends up like a completely different film. The typical Sudhir Mishra twist does provide a satisfactory solution which is a grammatically correct full stop for a film. However, as a viewer, one might feel that Inkaar is a sentence that is correct, but just doesn’t sound right.

Rating - 2.5 out of 5

Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on January 20, 2013

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