By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
We're experiencing a whole new world in cinema. Themes that were considered abstract and offbeat are slowly making inroads into Bollywood. These films are a complete contrast to what we've been experiencing thus far. You could actually mistake it for European cinema in general and French cinema in particular. MITHYA, directed by Rajat Kapoor, is one of those films. Conceal the faces of the actors and you'd never believe it's a Hindi film.
In this case, MITHYA, you can't draw parallels with any film, past or present. That's because something like this has never been attempted before. And that happens to be the flip side as well, for MITHYA is not everyone's cup of tea, everyone's idea of entertainment. It caters to a niche audience, those with an appetite for 'different' cinema. It's for the discerning viewer that wants a change, who wants to watch a new story unravel on celluloid.
Seen individually, MITHYA is an experience you cannot forget easily. It leaves a solid impact, especially if you're receptive to out of the box experiences.
VK [Ranvir Shorey] has come to Mumbai, chasing big film dreams, like thousands of others. When fate makes him a pawn in a master game plan of the underworld, he unknowingly gets drawn into a whirlpool of events that will determine his future. Then an unexpected accident turns the tables for everybody involved.
Now begins a chase that won't stop at anything. VK is too deep into it now to step back. Unknowingly, he has become an imposter, an imposter who wasn't.
On script level, a film like MITHYA has layers and more layers and is indeed a complex theme to handle. Not everyone can attempt it, since a theme like this has to be handled very, very carefully, else it may boomerang. That's where an expert storyteller like Rajat Kapoor steps in.
You get instantly sucked into the struggler's world and gradually forget that you're a viewer. You become a bystander. You feel it's happening right there in front of your eyes, experiencing everything firsthand.
The best part of the script [writers: Saurabh Shukla, Rajat Kapoor] is that you cannot predict the next moment. Its unpredictability is its USP. The film moves about in a serpentine manner and as it reaches its culmination, you're emphathizing with the struggler, who started somewhere else and ended at an altogether different destination. That's destiny, isn't it?
But the best part is the concluding moments. The culmination to Ranvir's character -- the way it has been filmed -- leaves you stunned, speechless and of course, sad! Its execution cannot be described in mere words.
Director Rajat Kapoor takes a giant leap as a storyteller. If you understand cinema or are associated with it, you'd realize that MITHYA is more of a director's film, than an actor's. Although it's premature to talk at this juncture, but MITHYA should feature prominently in the 'Bests of 2008' when the year draws to a close. The writing too is topnotch. Ditto for the camerawork, which gives the film a cold, gloomy look.
Lavish praises must be reserved for Ranvir Shorey, who delivers an extra-ordinary performance in the central role. You've known him as a funster, now watch him in a role that you could never place him in. A brilliant performance! Naseeruddin Shah, as always, is hugely competent. Neha Dhupia is one of the most under-rated actors around. Watch her in this film as she slips into a role with such effortless ease. She deserves better roles for sure. Iravati is fantastic. Saurabh Shukla is first-rate. Harsh Chhaya excels. Vinay Pathak is relegated to the backseat this time; he's good. Brijendra Kala is excellent.
On the whole, MITHYA has the courage to tell one of the most novel stories we've ever watched on celluloid. Sure, it caters to the multiplex junta, but honestly, some films are beyond box-office and should just be lauded for the sheer strength of taking Hindi cinema beyond the stereotype.
Wait, here's a grievance. The promos give an impression that it's a comic fare. You may also believe that it's a laugh-riot in view of the fact that MITHYA comes from the BHEJA FRY team. It's not! The promos are misleading and ought to reflect the content to tap its potential.