Film: "Hardware Software Kya Yaaron"; Cast: Imran Ahmed Khan, Snehadhar Penta, Ranbir Chakma, Sanjeev Nair, Juby Devasia, Adithi Kalkunte, Vishal Nair, Sweta Desai, Saleem Ahmed, Monish Nagraj, Shannon McDonnell, Jun Fujitha, Yuko Fujita, and Arvind Kamath; Director: Rabi Kisku; Rating: ** 1/2
This English-cum-multi-lingual film released under the PVR Director's Rare Banner is truly a masala film -- packed with hilarious moments, situational and linguistic comedy.
Set against the backdrop of the IT sector, sometime during the recession, the film sees four roommates - Nongem, Girish Reddy, Srinivas Raju and Naren - along with their other colleagues pitted against each other for a coveted assignment in Japan.
The issue is only the best four among the lot would get selected to go to Japan. How they go about it and who among them make it to Japan is the crux of the story.
Luckily for them, the company has imported two Japanese instructors to help the staff cope with Japanese ethics and work culture. Then there is Karthik, the obnoxious Project Manager also known as "Postmortem" among colleagues, who keeps the entire team on their toes.
What follows are typical scenes that are visible in a bachelor's pad combined with internal office politics and intra-office romance. There is also class room comedy which is so reminiscent of the TV Sitcom "Mind Your Language" and the more recent Sridevi-starrer "English Vinglish".
The film could serve as a promotional film for Japan.
While the plot rambles giving you a glimpse of the on-goings in the IT office, the film captures finer regional nuances of the characters through their accent and food choices.
Writer-director Rabi Kishu seems to have a natural flair for comedy. He, along with ABR Narshima, has penned witty lines that get you hooked to the screenplay. The characters mainly speak in English but then at times resort to their respective mother tongues that include Hyderabadi Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Kanada, Marathi, Mizo and Malayalam.
As for the performances, Rabi has successfully managed to extract the exact measure of talent from his cast who faced the camera for the first time.
Srinivas goes overboard with his accent so suggestive of being a native of Hyderabad that it unnerves you each time he opens his mouth. Nongem plays his part to perfection by just being a typical guy from Mizoram. Juby Devasia as the overtly Mallu girl Merlin tries hard to emulate the Channel V VJ Lola Kutty.
Girish as the idiotic bumpkin and Narayan as his saviour and buddy are rendered well by Snehadhar Penta and Sanjeev Nair. Aditi plays Nidhi, the typical Banglorean babe with problems in her love life.
Monish Nagraj as the conniving Karthik is very theatrical in his approach.
Shannon McDonnell as the English Boss along with Jun Fujitha and Yuko Fujita as the Japanese instructors have fused into the film beautifully.
Shot on Cannon 5D, the visuals captured by cinematographer Siddharth Nuni are respectable. His lighting creates a realistic mood that involves you into the story.
On the edit front, since the scenes end abruptly, the transitions are a bit jerky. And to add to this, the numerous fade-outs in the film make the film look amateurish.
The sound track consists of six songs from different rock bands across the country. Three are in English and rest in Hindi, which include "Yeh Zindagi" sung by Lucky Ali which is mellifluous.
With all the ingredients of an entertainer "Hardware Software Kya Yaaron" is worth a watch. Especially since it ends on a positive note and also inspires young filmmakers to walk the indie path.