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Roy review: As immersing as it is onerous!

Roy review: As immersing as it is onerous!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 13 February 2015

Movie Title

Roy review: As immersing as it is onerous!

Director

Vikramjit Singh

Star Cast

Ranbir Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Arjun Rampal

We know there's something suspenseful about the characters right away. It's the way they go about their lives and their larger-than-life demeanor.

Everyone's intense, very intense, as they walk along puffing a cigarette, or mysteriously living alone on a huge estate, and riding a horse in vintage clothing.

There's the Bollywood director Kabir (Arjun Rampal) typing away his script on a typewriter, no less. Wearing a fedora hat and constantly smoking a cigarette, Kabir often proves true to his arrogant Casanova reputation. He asks for exactly three cubes in his drink at the bar, and his broodiness is quite interesting as he looks around him and wonders why people are so happy.

He falls for an offbeat filmmaker Ayesha Aamir (Jacqueline Fernandez), but she's uncomfortable with something she has discovered about Kabir. Their on-off romance would have been more interesting if it didn't include recurring developments.

On the other spectrum is a thief called Roy (Ranbir Kapoor) who falls for an actress Tia (Jacqueline). This time Roy's theft is huge – that of a 100 million dollar-painting called '2 Halves'. The name of the painting is symbolic, which you'd understand once the film's suspense is revealed. This by the way is a bit of a damp squib, and hasn't been pulled off nearly as smartly as it should have.

One is expected to give the film a long rope in terms of improbable developments and characters that don't make sense (like Kabir's assistant Meera enacted by the superb Shernaz Patel). And then you'll have to suspend logic where Malaysian street performers break into a Punjabi song in the middle of the movie.

Vikramjit Singh and Hussain Dalal's dialogue is interesting but inconsistent. But there are enough gems with the depth to represent the characters' internal conflicts. So while one character moans about how he is a stranger to himself "apne aap se anjaan", another claims that stories never lie. Yet another seems bothered by the khamoshiyon ka shor (the noise of silence), and my favourite is a character saying that all through life, our questions remain the same always, it's the answers that keep changing.

The film is also a visual treat. There are stylized portions that are beautifully imagined and executed. Note the dance scene where Ayesha gives a standalone ballet performance for her beau, by the sea-sand and set against waves. Everything in the ethereal scene from the styling, to the location, the camerawork and emotions works beautifully. Or the scene where Roy and Tia (in her dressed-to-the-nines look) lay down on the sand and talk. The visual aesthetic is complemented by the lovely songs and an excellent, even if relentless, background score.And while talking about the visual aesthetic, it is absolutely pertinent to mention the gorgeous lead cast.

Arjun Rampal is perfectly cast as the diva-esque, slightly morose writer-director, and he reflects his character's angst as much with his expressions and with his hunch-backed body language. Ranbir Kapoor is a treat as the slightly awkward, genius thief who's going through an existential crisis of sorts. Jacqueline is incredibly glamorous, but her accented Hindi and limited acting ability is still a distraction.

Debut director Vikramjit Singh gives us a film that's ambitious and intermittently immersing. You soak in the film's aesthetics, but are also disconcerted by the film's inability to handle the complicated story.

The film seems overwhelmed but this enormous task it has taken upon itself - to tell a visually arresting, multifarious story, that's so convoluted, it's begging to be deciphered and told simply. Within this story is a chor-police angle, double romances, the characters' own internal struggles, and the heist angle.

And so the viewer is often lost in a labyrinth, which is interesting for a while, and onerous thereafter. Despite these flaws, the film is still enjoyable in sporadic bursts for the immersing story, an unconventional lead cast, and the visual flair.

Rating: 3 stars

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