By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Tuesday 22 January 2008
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Rahul Bose, Rituparna Sengupta, Rajat Kapoor, Raima Sen
We trail the life of Rahul (Rahul Bose), a successful architect based in London who gets the chance of going back home to Kolkata following a job transfer. His wife Nandita (Rituparna Sengupta) is also thrilled at the prospect. Rahul?s colleague Amit (Rajat Kapoor) with his wife Preeti (Raima Sen) is also joining them there and the two couples develop a friendship. The film goes on to suggest an attraction between the two couples, though these suggestions remain half-fulfilled. While these mild flirtations continue, you wonder what one is to make out of it, as the story just doesn?t move forward from these hints.
Rahul Bose exudes warmth and gives a heartfelt performance. Rituparna too gives a good performance, but is severely let down by the Hindi dubbing. Rajat Kapoor and Raima Sen give able renditions despite the cardboard one-dimensional characters. While Rajat?s Amit reads pink papers, watches TV only for sensex information and claims his favourite colour is that of money, Raima?s ignored bespectacled housewife Preeti is confusing to say the least. In fact all the characters seem completely subtracted of reality. For example, Nandita and Preeti are young, educated and live in London, yet wear traditional sarees looking ten years older and are both housewives. Once when out on a trip to the countryside, Nandita actually begins to sing loudly, very much like in our Hindi films. Also, when Nandita wishes to get rid of her loneliness sitting at home, she joins a nearby play school as teacher ? another tired clich?. Rahul is a caring husband but ODs on the saccharine.
So while Amit flirts with Nandita complimenting on her beauty, Preeti follows Rahul to the Himalayas where he is posted for a work project. What follows is a twist in the tale, one that should have ideally been introduced several sequences back.
It?s different to lead on the viewer by dropping hints and leaving it at that, so the viewer tries to interpret the story in their own way. But it?s a feat not all films can carry off. While it is entertaining to see the story unfold and wonder `will they, won?t they? when the flirtations between the couples are cemented again and again, it?s annoying to see that?s all there is to the film for the first two hours or so.
The dialogue is interesting and the characters speak some beautiful philosophical lines quoting Tagore; but this could be a put-off for those not familiar with Bengali literature. The pace of Anuranan is slow, and the dubbing is atrocious, a factor that will work strongly against the film. While it is a great initiative to dub the film in Hindi to reach the multiplex audience, the dubbing should have been done superlatively.
While the tension between the two couples is does have its moments, and the performances are worth watching, the self-indulgent pace and disappointing ending may prevent the film from connecting with the mainstream viewer.
Verdict: Two stars