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X: Past Is Present

X: Past is Present - Great concept; vapid execution!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Saturday 21 November 2015

Movie Title

X: Past Is Present

Director

Hemant Gaba, Pratim D. Gupta, Sudhish Kamath, Nalan Kumarasamy, Anu Menon, Sandeep Mohan, Qaushiq Mukherjee, Rajshree Ojha, Raja Sen, Abhinav Shiv Tiwari

Star Cast

Radhika Apte, Rajat Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, Huma Qureshi

The only thing cool about the movie is the concept— Eleven directors feasting on bits of a protagonist’s life, making that portion their own, and choosing their own genre. The story is of a middle-aged filmmaker K (Rajat Kapoor, Anshuman Jha) reflecting on his past romances.

The concept is where the fun ends.

From then on, we are made to endure episodes of his interactions with various attractive women. Clearly, he’s never had a healthy relationship with a woman. Either he’s exploiting them, or being exploited.

K has met a smitten 23-year-old and they get talking. This talk leads to the tired technique of flashbacks where we encounter his past. We see different directors helming various portions of his past, and taking up an individual romance to explore. As we see K revisiting his encounters with his exes, we wonder how such a charmless, obnoxious person kept meeting women who wanted to be with him.

We see that K is often disrespectful with the women he meets, but that never seems to discourage women from falling for him. A woman he proposes should make love with him in the car slaps him. He tells her she slapped him, because she wanted a feel. She coyly laughs and invites him over to her place. Really?

Another time, he films a woman changing clothes and manages to charm her as well. In real life, this person would be called a pervert, not portrayed as a charmer. So both the younger (Jha) and older K (Kapoor) are constantly condescending towards their women, most of who are pining for him. Several segments of the film show women as objects— being filmed with permission, wrapped up in a bed-sheet, forgiving K’s misdemeanors, and always eager to take care of him.

The dialogue uses the most simplistic words possible to describe characters, and is a real yawn-inducer. Like a character repeatedly saying, “I believe in science” to show his lack of faith. Or him describing his landlady as the “the kind and crazy Mrs. Baker.” Or a woman coaxing him she wants to get pregnant, by saying, “Main motherhood experience karna chahti hoon.”

Apart from Radhika Apte, Huma Qureshi, Anshuman Jha and Swara Bhaskar, all the other actors are completely out of their depth here. Most of the actors speak their Hindi-English interspersed dialogue awkwardly with strange pauses, as if they were reading from a book.

It doesn’t help that there are no characters you really warm up to, including (especially) K. Kapoor plays K with a casual nonchalance, and that works only so much. A consistently awful background score is as annoying as the student-film type pretentious attempts at cleverness. That includes dollops of pseudo-psychology, attempts at jolting the audience, the distractingly strained camerawork and so on.

Sadly what we get is a very hollow movie, where the viewer is left in the lurch with no connect to any of the characters.

One person’s encounters with all his ex-loves. Eleven filmmakers telling different segments of a single story… eleven different genres…eleven different perspectives. This one had the potential to be an explosive film. What we get, tragically, is a fused bulb that goes off almost as soon as it sparks!

Rating: 1.5 stars

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