Review: Barah Aana falls flat

Review: Barah Aana falls flat

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 23 March 2009

Movie Title

Review: Barah Aana falls flat


Raja Menon

Star Cast

Naseruddin Shah, Vijay Raaz, Arjun Mathur, Violante Placido, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Benjamin Gilani

They have the actors. They have the concept. They have the smart multiplex film title.

Still, Barah Aana falls flat. Primarily because we?ve no idea what the film is about till after intermission.

So until popcorn time, we are introduced to the three characters, all migrants to Mumbai. The stoic driver Shukla (Naseeruddin Shah) who takes his boss' wife's 24*7 insults. The good-looking charmer Aman (Arjun Mathur, Farhan Akhtar's idealist friend in Luck By Chance) who's just asked out the cute Italian (Violante Placido), a regular at the restaurant where he waits tables. And the watchman Yadav (Vijay Raaz) who?s regularly sent to run errands and is in dire need of money for his sick child back home.

The three stay together in a tiny room and form a happy family with Shukla playing the unofficial head. Yadav decides to ask the building secretary for an advance on his salary, who then directs him to begging the residents for the money.

But each door he knocks meets with a rude refusal. (The film constantly throws up a perplexingly one-sided portrayal of the affluent.)

Devastated at the denial to lend him Rs 500 by people "who live in flats costing crores and drive cars worth lakhs", Yadav stumbles upon the idea of extorting money.

How this idea happens to him is another story. But now, he says, seducing his roommates with his illegal plan, the idea would be to kidnap the 'unusual suspects'.

This, he feels, is a surefire way of earning good money and keeping away from the police. That's until a few successful heists gets them braver and one of them gets overambitious.

We feel incapable when it comes to emoting for the characters and their conflicts. We just don't get involved in their stories. About the only time one really feels for a character is Yadav?s helplessness in collecting money for his child; and when he talks about missing his family, after a couple of drinks.

The film is a cinch, performance wise. Naseerudin Shah impresses with his restrained acting, especially in scenes without spoken dialogue.

Vijay Raaz, a fine actor, is made to veer on the comical ? since he has the best lines and the meatiest role in the film, his over gesticulating works in making the character funnier.

Arjun Mathur is perfectly cast and gives another wonderful performance after LBC.

The technical aspects stand out especially the cinematography (Priya Seth) and art direction (Sree Kumar Nair).

Editing by Hemanti Sarkar (Parineeta, Maati May, Sur) keeps the film's pace painfully slow. Director Raja Menon (directed rom-com Bus Yun Hi, 2003) employs a storytelling technique that doesn't work for the film.

Because by the time the story picks up, it's time for the film to end.

Verdict: Two stars

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