Love, wrinkle-free – Movie Review
Posted by Vivek on May 27, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Giju John, Kamal Shah
DIRECTOR – Sandeep Mohan
WRITER – Sandeep Mohan
CAST – Shernaz Patel, Ash Chandler, Ashwin Mushran, Seema Rehmani, Arika Silaichia
MUSIC – Vivek Philip
Among a weekend of Hollywood biggies and Bollywood non-starters comes an indie film that is at once fresh and tickling. It’s about middle-age angst, the pains of growing old and the inability to accept oneself as one is. Sounds lofty and deep but the tone the film takes is refreshingly quirky and light to breeze us through the slightly irregularly paced narrative.
It is about a Roman Catholic Goan family that of Savio (Ash Chandler), his wife Annie (Shernaz Patel), 8-yrs older than him and their adopted daughter Ruth (Arika Silaichia). They have a sweet, homely existence but are beginning to feel the disappointments that old age sometimes brings. Savio isn’t very happy with his work-life and Annie is fretting about how her age is coming in between her passion for singing in the church choir that now wants only younger singers even as she is ecstatic about her impending pregnancy. Ruth, a teenager of East Indian origin is at that age where she feels her physicality more keenly and resents her eyes that make her stand out among her own family members. At a salsa class Savio meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie (Seema Rehmani) and her boyfriend Rajiv (Theron C.). While he is taken in by her charm, Rajiv finds an easy prey in him, funding Savio’s edible lingerie business. Annie gets busy trying to prepare for the upcoming auditions unaware of the attentions of the rather daft Jacob (Ashwin Mushran). Ruth on her part is hatching a plan of her own to get hold of money for an eye-surgery.
Set and shot in Goa, these stories unfold with a relaxed pace, involving us into their un-enchanted, pedestrian lives with quirky humour and some very good acting. The film doesn’t delve into character studies or even flesh out its theme deep enough. It keeps the middle-aged Savio and Annie endearingly childlike, performed delightfully by both Ash Chandler and Shernaz Patel who seem so comfortably eased into their characters. Arika as the sulking teen has a distinct screen presence and the director uses subtlety in his approach to her character, bringing out her angst without much ado. Savio and Natalie’s relationship is similarly treated with a touch and go hand, unfortunately at the cost of Natalie’s more interesting character, which remains almost an illusion and a little card-board-like. Seema Rehmani’s minx-like presence and effortless performance, however, takes the attention away from her under-written role.
The film however, isn’t really without its faults. Cinematography is amateurish with inconsistent colours, odd framing and sometimes overlooking the grammar of its own shots. A better visual treatment, especially in the shot-taking, framing and editing would have helped the narrative largely but it presents Goa kindly, soaked in its own lazy spirit which makes its world authentic. The film wavers post-interval, not seeming to go anywhere. There isn’t a traditional build-up of a climax or resolutions but then probably the lack of drama makes for its unique personality. It’s a nice outing from a debutante director that makes you engaged enough to chuckle and care till the end.