Raat Gayi Baat Gayi
The cast puts in a wonderful performance
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Monday 4 January 2010
Raat Gayi Baat Gayi?
Neha Dhupia, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Dalip Tahil, Irawati Harshe Mayadev, Anu Menon, Navniit Nisshan, Aamir Bashir, Ranvir Shorey, Makrand Deshpande, Sudhir Mishra
First off we have Rahul (Rajat Kapoor, dependably good) and Mitali (Iravati Harshe, wonderful to see her back) who?ve had a love marriage. Fourteen years into wedded bliss, everything isn?t quite all right. Mitali misses the days of Rahul?s spontaneous affection and Rahul finds it all too filmi now.
They?re at a party thrown by Saxena (Dalip Tahil, in one of his best roles) and his gregarious wife Jolly (Navneet Nishan, fabulous). The other couple accompanying this group of friends is Amit (Vinay Pathak) and Nandini (Anuradha Menon). Add to that a beautiful model at a party (Neha Dhupia, excellent) whose problem, she admits, is getting attracted to older, married men and you have trouble brewing.
The model and Rahul get flirty while Amit is called a ?dirty old man? for telling provocative jokes to a bunch of young girls at the party. The next day, Rahul wakes up to find wife Mitali distant and cold. He doesn?t have a clue whether something happened between him and the girl the previous night and learns that finding out isn?t going to be that easy.
The script is simple, but what really endears you to the film is the characterisation. Whether it?s the character who can?t give up watching porn at age 40 plus or the sculptor who loves her work, but hasn?t been able to achieve as much owing to the guilt of ignoring her child. She watches with admiration and envy as her ?junior? does shows at Berlin while she still hasn?t still followed up with the show people in Kolkata.
Or take the wife who throws her flirtatious husband out and cries her heart out to her girlfriend, regretting leaving behind the foreign job offer and admirer in college. Then there?s Jolly, the unsophisticated and loud wife of a successful author who, following tarot, broke the toilet to make a study and attributes that to her husband?s latest book getting published. In a delicious scene that?s an absolute riot, this lady picks out a pack of tarot cards at a coffee shop and reads it right there while consulting the tarot reader on the phone. Many such moments make Raat Gayi Baat Gayi an absolute delight. Dialogue is witty and real and music is interesting.
Be warned though, the pace is languorous and the focus is more on relationships and less on one night stands (for those expecting a dare bare sex-comedy). Some things are bothersome, of course. For example, all three husbands are shown to have a roving eye; an unfair portrayal of married men. And Nandini, accepting her porn-addicted, hitting-on-young-girls husband back, is also a bit of a stretch.
Also, why is the terribly attractive model attracted to married men anyway? She explains that her mother had a relationship with a married man who never divorced his wife. Shouldn?t that warn her against being involved with a hitched man? This aspect of her character is never explored and remains a nagging question in the viewer?s mind.
The cast puts in a wonderful performance. Even cameos by Ranvir Shorey, Sudhir Mishra and Aamir Bashir are superb. Accomplished actor Saurabh Shukla returns to direction (after a couple of films years ago) and this time makes an entertainingly identifiable film for the multiplex junta. Go ahead, enjoy this slice-of life movie that may not completely convince and does take time to unfold, but will leave you smiling anyway.
Rating: 2.5 stars