Movie Review: Straight

By Taran Adarsh Bollywood Hungama News Network

DOSTANA and FASHION brought homosexuality out of the closet. One assumes STRAIGHT would take it one step ahead. It would look at gays, the relationships, the emotions. It doesn't. On the contrary, it talks of a person who's confused of his sexual preferences, one who doesn't know if he swings or not, is in fact homophobic.

STRAIGHT could've explored all this and more beautifully, without getting preachy, but unfortunately, there's no dum in the screenplay. It's dry and dreary and goes on and on and on... and ends up being a boring exercise.

In the midst of central London, a successful Indian restaurant called 'Gaylord' is run by a Londoner of Indian origin called Pinu [Vinay Pathak]. A simple soul at heart, Pinu has many complexes -- a special one being that he is a virgin and has experienced no intimacy with a woman.

After a failed and humiliating experience when Pinu went to India to have an arranged marriage to a traditional girl who finally dumped him at the altar and eloped with her lover, Pinu is broken and disheartened. One day, a young Indian called Kamles [Anuj Chaudhary] comes to his restaurant and asks for a job as a stand-up comedian. Pinu initially refuses, but finally lets him join as a cook, who also does a stand-up act in the evenings.

On the same day, he hires a new cashier Renu [Gul Panag], a young art student from India, who has a passion for caricatures. Life changes dramatically for Pinu as 'Gaylord' begins to transform...

One fine day, Kamles win a lottery and as he goes to hug Pinu in his excitement, he lands an accidental kiss on his lips. Pinu is thrown into a daze as he walks away from the restaurant that night. He has discovered a totally new fear: he might be Gay.

Director Parvati Balagopalan has chosen an interesting story, but hasn't been able to stretch it for two hours convincingly. In fact, there's no movement in the first hour. The three characters [Vinay Pathak, Gul Panag and Anuj Chaudhary] keep talking randomly, without coming to the main issue. Besides, the conversation, most of the times, is absolutely bland.

There's a flicker of hope in the second hour. A few sequences are interestingly handled, but what gets served eventually and the time it takes to reach the culmination, the entire journey is so yawn-inducing.

Parvati disappoints this time. Given the fact that the writing lacks meat, there's little that she can do to salvage the show. Music is another drawback. It's more of an intruder. Cinematography too is inconsistent.

Vinay Pathak does his job earnestly, but why take off the shirt again and again? Why this need to show off Vinay's hairy chest? Gul Panag is likable and enacts her part well. Anuj Chaudhary is okay, but it remains unexplained till the end whether he's gay or straight. That's one of the reasons why his relationship with Vinay is least convincing. There should've been some clarity on this issue. Siddharth Kakkar is alright. Rasik Dave and Ketaki Dave provide some laughs.

On the whole, STRAIGHT is as confused as the protagonist in the film. Disappointing!

Bollywood.com Rating: 2

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