Its good to see that after Bheja Fry, many young film makers are trying their hand at making simple film with a fresh concept and with a shoe-string budget. Hulla too is one such film which tries its level best at charming the audience with its simplistic treatment, not completely succeeding though.
Hulla has a wafer-thin but a fresh plot with 2 people at the centre-stage of the chaos. But in real, it’s a tale about middle class lives of Mumbai and their trials and tribulations. It doesn’t belong to the do-gooders world of Hrishi da capers of 70s. Infact, it has a bitter-sweet quality to it that makes it endearingly real. It has characters that everyone can see around them when he/she moves out of his/her house. The director has also infused a mild but great satire at India and traditional Indian beliefs alongwith, that makes the film much more fun.
The camera-work quite aptly has a very in-your-face quality with hand-held camera used in most of the places. The art director also does a good job in creating a homely feel. In the first half, the film has some low-key but effectively natural sense of humour. And Thanks to some great piece of editing, The first half sails like through quite quickly.
However, the proceedings kinda stop after a certain point in the 2nd half, and although the fun is still very much the same, the story seems to be going pointlessly repetitive. It also loses its pace towards the end, and becomes a bit too serious all of a sudden. And the climax, although has a subtle tragedy, is a tad abrupt.
In between, The film has an outright zany dream sequence, one of the best and most sensibly directed ever, that captures the entire theme of the film and the protagonist’s mind-set very well. It still doesn’t make up for the flaws the rest of the movie had.
Performances are top-notch however, and not a single performance seems out-of-sync. Sushant Singh once again proves that he is one of the most untapped talents at present. Kartika Rane is surprisingly natural, and makes for a very fine tuned act. However, Its Rajat Kapoor who simply steals the show as a lower middle-class man, frustrated with his failures and the compromises he has to make time and again. He was bang on! It was good to see Vrijesh Hirjee after so long. He was impactful, as ever.
Unfortunately, due to amateurish direction at places and a weak screenplay post-interval, the film lets down its novel idea. None-the-less, its still a notch better than some inane capers dished out today in the name of masala entertainers, and makes for quite an entertaining watch.
Rating – 2.75