By Hindustan Times
Mayank Shekhar's review: Knotty, naughty! Review: Mirch Director: Vinay Shukla Actors: Arunoday Singh, Konkona Sensharma, Raima Sen Rating: ***
Possession is the flipside of love. All lovers are
possessive. Unfortunately. Women merely express their insecurities more freely. The man, over generations, has hidden his persecution complex under the garb of physical strength. He’s emotionally much weaker, his ego, far more delicate. An unfaithful lover can destroy him. Completely.
Well they do, in this case. There are four hitched men (Rajpal Yadav, Prem Chopra, Shreyas Talpade, Boman Irani). Each husband is insecure, boring and arguably ugly in his own way. They exist in different time periods -- two ancient, the other two, more urban, contemporary. The film is in parts Utsav and Life In A Metro!
The film plays out four separate stories, connected only by the fact that the woman (Sen, Sensharma) in each case is the proverbial man in the relationship. She guiltlessly cheats on her husband. She prefers an over-built brawn (Arunoday Singh) -- the way a guy inevitably falls for a better-looking broad -- over a devoted, stable spouse at home. At one point, one of the characters rightly questions how a woman who makes money enjoying sex, is a despicable whore. The man who actually spends on her for the same pleasures, on the other hand, isn't quite. True.
A luckless, aspiring writer-director in the film narrates these stories to a commercial producer, who isn’t easy to please. To assure him, the writer says he’s inspired by the wit (read, twists in the tale) of those stories than the wily women and loser men they portray. The producer isn’t convinced yet.
This premise of the failing artistic filmmaker who hangs posters of Guru Dutt, Madhubala, Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows in his wall, reads Bergman’s interviews, is certainly a tad farty. The director learns he has to play by rules of the market. The game should still be his own.
The stories he spins bear lengths of an extended SMS, are together worth a four-act theatrical production, with sex as “saleable star”. This was true also with a lot of European art-house once, as many (like Satyajit Ray in his critical pieces) would contend.
The four short films, fable-like, with fine actors, eventually turn out to be utterly simple and instantly amusing. As you can see. Sometimes that’s all you want from a film!