Films | Life ki toh lag gayi – Movie Review

Life ki toh lag gayi – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on April 27, 2012 | No Comments

PRODUCER – V.M Final Cut Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, K Sera Sera
DIRECTOR – Rakesh Mehta
WRITER – Rakesh Mehta
CAST – Kay Kay Menon, Manu Rishi, Ranvir Shorey, Pradhuman Singh, Neha Bhasin
MUSIC – Vinay Jaiswal

Watching Rakesh Mehta’s ‘Life ki toh lag gayi’, one wonders, is this now the standard template Mumbai and its attendant quirks are going to be translated with? Four stories, diverse and full of troubles converge in Mumbai’s melting pot. All four are as different as can be and run a course of 24 hours while crossing paths in the climax. Yes, the concept or structure has nothing new to offer.

Unfortunately, neither does the plot. A builder Salman (Kay Kay Menon) wants to avenge his parent’s death. An upright police officer Chautala (Manu Rishi) has to safeguard his job by catching a Nigerian drug peddler gang. A starry-eyed nymphet Dolly (Neha Bhasin) is struggling to become a Bollywood heroine. And a jilted lover Amol (Ranvir Shorey) is trying to cope with heartbreak and the idea of death. After all, he has only a junkie, death-obsessed room-mate Ajoy (Pradhuman Singh) to advice him. For each one of them it is survival against tough odds, most of them of their own making. And this survival is set in the lap of that uncaring mother Mumbai. Apart from minor details it is nothing we haven’t seen before.

The film is wrapped in a realistic sensibility, set in real locations, deals with everyday dilemmas and emotions, yet, fails this realism with shallow characterisation, weak performances and in the entire point it is trying to make. A large part of the film is shoddy and misguided with its struggling attempts at humour and forced quirkiness. Editing that does not seem sure-footed and repetitive camera angles become the wrong spices for this pot pourri, turning what should have been exciting into mere drab.

Probably it is the weak characterisation that renders otherwise dependable actors ineffective. Ranvir Shorey, with his stock ‘loser’ expressions stereotypes himself without effort. Like in so many films before, Kay Kay Menon’s histrionics continue to be nervous and over-wrought, never finding an even keel or the required intensity. Debutante Neha Bhasin lacks a certain magnetism that may have lifted her character out of obscurity into memorability, something that only Manu Rishi manages to evoke. He invests enough of his liquid comic grace into Chautala’s upright demeanour and timidity with his mother to engage us. There is also Jackie Shroff, Shakti Kapoor, Asrani and Tom Alter thrown in for good measure, neither doing much for the film.

Not really a comedy, it is a slice-of-life film intending to be feel-good. Unfortunately, nothing in the film comes together to make us feel really good about it.

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