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Mittal vs Mittal review: Bulls eye on reality but shoddy

Mittal vs Mittal review: Bulls eye on reality but shoddy

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 26 March 2010

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Movie Title

Mittal vs Mittal

Director

Karan Razdan

Star Cast

Rituparna Sengupta, Rohit Roy, Gulshan Grover and Suchitra Krishnamurthy

Given Karan Razdan?s past films, it?s warranted to doubt his take on a subject such as marital rape. But writer-director Razdan (Hawas, Girlfriend) manages to reasonably flesh out the heartrending story of an abused wife, who decides to take action against her powerful husband.

So Mitali (Rituparna Sengupta), a model, meets business tycoon Karan Mittal (Rohit Roy) and they start an affair. Mitali senses an overbearing streak in Rohit that makes her uncomfortable. Still when he begs forgiveness on bended knees, she accepts his marriage proposal. Her mother is over the moon for having a Mittal as her son-in-law. Trouble begins almost immediately: Karan thinks the marriage to be a way of revenging Mitali?s rejecting his advances earlier. That and propelled by his controlling mother, Karan lets loose his abusive side forcing himself on his wife.

Her screams pretend to be unheard in the huge mansion. She finally walks out and files a case. The film then moves into a courtroom drama: an interestingly done portion. Now, what works for the film is that it manages to remain true to the subject. Yes, there was no need to give us the detailed abuse shots and the sleazy item number. But still the film?s subject talks of a reality. In fact, it reminds one of a very recent case, covered in the media, where a Pune family owning a chain of hotels was accused of torture by their young daughter-in-law. These despicable secrets of ostentatious homes find an echo in our protagonist?s life. Mitali?s mother, on hearing her daughter?s ordeal, gets worried about the family?s reputation. High on liaising with a big business family, she orders her daughter to somehow ?work it out?. How odd it is, her father notes in the film, that both the mother and mother-in-law?two women?refuse to side with Mitali. It?s another cringe-worthy reality that most abused wives face? desertion by their immediate family.

Karan?s character too is nicely developed. He?s not an archetypal villain, leering and tearing off the heroine?s clothes. He?s more subdued?well-mannered to the outside world with a boyish sense of humour??appearing harmless and therefore that much more dangerous. The courtroom drama builds up nicely, despite the predictable arguments, with Suchitra Krishnamoorthy pitching in an earnest performance as Mitali?s lawyer.

The film doesn?t work because it?s so shoddily made. The acting is mostly average; barring a few instances, Rituparno Sengupta rarely whips up our sentiments. Rohit Roy is pretty good. The film has an archaic feel with below-par dubbing and deadpan writing. A few dialogues, among the mostly mundane, do stand out ? like the one where Mitali says that her case is the triumph of every woman and man fighting for justice. Thankfully, this piece of writing doesn?t pigeonhole atrocities (as being against women only). It intelligently insinuates that women?s rights are the same as human rights. The viewer today, having tasted blood, with even issue-based films being wrapped in full production value, can?t digest films about relevant topics if they cannot alongside entertain. Even My Name is Khan had to envelop its message with stars, songs and location. That; or get a Rajkumar Santoshi-Meenakshi Sheshadri combo (recollect Damini?) that can involve the spoilt mainstream audience into tasting a slice of the bitter reality.

Verdict: Two stars

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