Inkaar – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on January 18, 2013 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Tipping Point Films
DIRECTOR – Sudhir Mishra
WRITER – Manoj Tyagi
CAST – Arjun Rampal, Chitrangda Singh, Deepti Naval, Vipin Sharma
MUSIC – Shantanu Moitra
What happens when a strong, socially relevant theme is dipped in glamour with its motivations set in thrilling rather than engaging with the subject? Inkaar.
Director Sudhir Mishra takes the less-spoken about but seething problem of workplace sexual harassment as the subject of his latest film and weaves a story of corporate cunning and manipulation. He then mixes in a good dose of personal agendas, a love story gone wrong, song and dances and a plush visual slate. A thumping background score, a Bollywood obsession that can never be left behind, is thrown in for good measure and we have a film that tries and then tries too hard.
At the two ends of the said gender war are Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal) and Maya Luthra (Chitrangada Singh). Hailing from small-towns both, the former is a CEO of an advertising agency and the latter his National Creative Director. The former is a mentor, the latter his protégé. Soon, they become lovers but ambition plays its card and the hardly-there relationship bites the dust. Ego clashes, insecurities and fierce individualism raise a storm until Maya slaps a sexual harassment case on Rahul. A social worker Mrs Kamdar (Dipti Naval) is called in to hear the case.
The film unfolds in a wilfully confusing, back and forth narrative, establishing everything, from the pair’s backgrounds, relationship and rise in flashbacks and from their own perspectives. The contradictions that arise are a conscious narrative choice, leaving the audience in suspense till the insipid, dues ex machina end.
While the film’s attempt at carving out an engaging narrative are interesting, its pulse of its characters, story or the subject itself is way off the mark. There is no depth or understanding of the issue at hand, relegating it to a mere sensational gimmick. The corporate world is a house of cards, as it is in most Bollywood movies, looking alright with its crisp suits and clean hairdos but hollow to the boot in its detailing. There aren’t even Bhandarkar style generalisations or broad strokes here.
As though in the same vein, Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh adequately look the part but fail to evoke any kind of association to reality. While Rampal as the cocky, sauve Rahul is in comfortable territory, Singh, never a promising actress, hams it up happily, taking the already hollow house down with her. Dipti Naval, as a sort of stereotyped social worker, is ever dependable and Vipin Sharma plays his character to a somewhat enjoyable effect.
But more than anything else, it is the mix of a glamourised setting with a rather dark theme that is the film’s undoing; the darkness just gets an unfair short shrift. The attempts at a perspective oriented narrative lack smartness and the ultimately the story itself unspools the otherwise tightly knit film.