Films | Yeh Saali Zindagi – Movie Review

Yeh Saali Zindagi – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on February 4, 2011 | No Comments

FILM – Yeh Saali Zindagi

PRODUCER – Prakash Jha

DIRECTOR – Sudhir Mishra

WRITER – Sudhir Mishra (Story, Screenplay, Dialogue), Manu Rishi (Dialogue)

CAST – Arunoday Singh, Chitrangda Singh, Irrfan Khan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Saurabh Shukla, Sushant Singh, Yashpal Sharma,
Prashant Narayanan.

MUSIC – Nishat Khan, Abhishek Ray

It is about money, love, deceit, deception and the surreal twist that actual life is. Sudhir Mishra’s ‘Yeh Saali Zaindagi’ travels through the lives of multiple characters chasing one thing or the other and colliding together when their fates meet in one single night.

Set in the northern belt of India, ‘Yeh Saali Zaindagi’ is a world of gangsters and cheats, small and big both. So on one hand if there is Arun (Irfaan Khan) and Mehta (Saurabh Shukla) running a financial organisation but not shy of embezzlement, on the other there is Kuldeep (Arunodaya Singh), trusted henchman of a jailed gangster Bade (Yashpal Singh). Kuldeep has to do one last job of kidnapping/extortion before he can declare himself clean to his wife (Aditi Rao Hyadari) and their son. This kidnapping involves Shyam (Vipul Gupta) and inadvertently Priti (Chitrangada Singh), the lady-love of Arun. Satbeer (Sushant Singh) shady cop and Chhote (Prashant Narayanan) and are cogs in this whole game of twisted fates mostly centring around Arun-Priti-Kuldeep.

The film has a zany pace. Just like the criss-crossing of fates of all the characters and just like the by-lanes of Delhi, it makes its way till the climax in an energetic, complex but exhausting weave. While Delhi and the rough landscapes of the surrounding north are captured with a certain rawness, there isn’t much emphasis on setting except subtitling them with names. Setting-wise the film rings authentic with its characters, costumes, actions, mannerisms and accents spot on.

The screenplay is tight but not compact. With a number of characters, motives and stories to tell it takes liberties of time and space such that the narrative gets dislocated. The in-between scene cuts and overlapping dialogues makes it snappy but the voice-over tediously drags it down. The actors especially Arunodaya Singh, Irfan Khan and Chitrangada Singh come together with a convincing performance, involving and dependable at the same time even if a little less intense than required.

Essentially the film tries to bring a quirk and irony into an earthy gangster story. It holds attention but does not consume. It convinces but does not involve. A little cold and little un-temperate, it defies genre but ultimately defaults on its own promise of defining the stunning irony that life is. Expression alone is not everything, is it?

FATEMA H.KAGALWALA

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