With his past work setting the expectations sky high (haven't seen The Blue Umbrella yet, but I hear that too is brilliant), I couldn't wait beyond Friday evening to catch this one.
After his take on Macbeth and Othello, Vishal Bahrdwaj delivers an ‘original’, giving the Midas touch to a clichéd ‘double-role’ phenomenon, setting up an entire new archetype of film making.
The movie involves splintered stories intertwined through a night, where the sequence of events unfolds into unique consequences for all the characters, suddenly tying them all together. Heard of this one? Well, then it is the treatment and characterization that makes the movie stand-out.
Vishal’s classic portrayal of the protagonists’ dreams / thoughts bonds you with his characters, and makes you feel for them. So when the two brothers fight for that Guitar, you want both of them to have it.
And if Charlie’s greed is brought alive for us by showing his dream sequences, Guddu’s complexes are justified with the subtle narration of his childhood heartbreak. And their actions consistently fuel the buildup of their characters - be it Guddu's ‘life calendar’, or his walk into the police station with the guitar, it gels well with his righteous character, and Charlie’s choices at every dilemma bring out his greed.
Fuelling the flavor are the psychedelic colours of Dhan-te-nan, the stark den of Charlie, the train transactions, and all the black humor.
Shahid truly emerges as an evolved performer, bringing out the distinct vibes for both the characters he plays. He may still be far from benchmarks set by his Dad, but is definitely miles ahead of his own past performances. And this movie may just do what Omkara did for Saif!. Priyanka, in her limited role, brings out Sweety's go-getter attitude very well. However, it is the eccentricity of the other characters (except Mikhail) that probably wasn’t as sharp as what we saw in a Langda Tyagi (yes, I am obsessed with Omkara), but added to the madness that prevailed through the movie.
The music adds to the movie exponentially, steering it ahead, with some brilliant lyrics.
However, the ending left me slightly disappointed, with the utter-chaos finally resolving into a ‘happy-ending’ – crafted a bit loosely,and that too, I'd say, was different and unpredictable about the movie!
But yes, since it is not the selection, but the elimination that decides our fate; I’d say do eliminate the choice of skipping this one - watch it for its brilliance, but don't expect another Omkara here.