The first film of the year, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi brings to screen the story of those thousands of us who partied like crazy on 31st night and for obvious reasons (!), can’t remember anything about how ludicrous the previous night was! The team of parallel cinema maestros is back with their team mate Saurabh Shukla as the director. Though Saurabh’s last directorial venture was a disaster but he’s not that bad this time around. The film stars smooth, sexy and suave middle aged Rajat Kapoor, his side kick urf buddy Vinay Pathak, Neha Dhupia, Iravati Harshe, Anu Menon (or Lola Kutty as we know her), Dilip Tahil, Naviniit Nishaan and Aamir Bashir. Other famous parallel cinema actors have small appearances like Ranvir Shorey, Makrand Deshpande and Sudhir Mishra. Like most other films of this genre Raat Gayi... has also been made keeping in mind a niche multiplex-going audience where the film would be more accepted but alas even this audience has limited patience!
All men are dogs… or so think their women! Three couples, three perspectives, one wild party, lots of booze and one really, really hot chick. Rahul (Rajat Kapoor) and Mitali (Iravati) have been married for 14 years but this one morning after a crazy party, Rahul can’t figure out why Mitali’s angry with him mostly because Rahul was so drunk last night that he has absolutely no idea what happened at the party! So while Mitali storms angrily out of the house we stay with Rahul as he tries to piece up last night with the help of his best friend Amit (Vinay Pathak), who is also having a fight with his wife Nandini (Anu Menon). So what happened at the party? Did Rahul actually ruin his 14-yr-old marriage for a young mysterious bombshell (Neha Dhupia) or is there more to this story than just one night stand?
This film won the audience award for Best Narrative award at HBO’s South Asian International Film Festival, 2009 held in New York this year. This is really surprising because after having seen what this team is capable of in films like Dasvidaniya, Mithya, Bheja Fry, Via Darjeeling etc Raat Gayi Baat Gayi is rather disappointing! The film lacks the humour it claims to be filled with and it just doesn’t have the punch that we would expect from a man as hilarious as Saurabh Shukla. To begin with, this concept of not remembering what happened the previous night is pretty old it’s been done in Sunday, Dude Where’s My Car? and more recently in The Hangover; secondly, the director takes too long to unfold the story. The first half, which is just about an hour, seems excruciatingly long, though the story does have grip and one is curious to know what happened at the party but the amount of time it takes to get to the interesting parts of the film leaves you frustrated and bored! In the second half is where the film brings out a few laughs especially with Rajat Kapoor stuck in Neha’s closet. The twists the tale however are too predictable, even the one at the end. Raat Gayi Baat Gayi is a nice story but it would have been a really impressive film had the screenplay been crispier and the twists a tat more hard hitting.
The music of the film is best described as quirky, it’s not something that will appeal to everyone but if you’re into alternative indie pop/rock (think Strings, Agni, Rabbi) then you might like it… my personal favourite is the song Kyon. The upside though is that none of the songs interfere with the narrative or slow down the film further.
Performances… well we know the potential of all these actors as they have repeatedly shown us in the past, Iravati is worth mentioning though because she portrays the internal fight of her character really well… we’ve all had that frustrated feeling a lot of times when we know that we’ve done something wrong but we still want to blame the other person for it. Anu Menon gets a good break after her “picture perfect” role in Quick Gun Murugan and she delivers well as the overly bossy wife. Ranvir Shorey’s 5-min appearance however, does not evoke any laughter.
Overall I’d say this one’s not worth a trip to the multiplexes especially not with the prices hiked up for the long weekend. Though over the week if you don’t get tickets for 3 Idiots or Avatar then give this one a try… but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Rating – 2/5