Oct 15, 2011 (calcutta Tube / IBNS): Mod is a 2011 Hindi movie directed by Nagesh Kukunoor with Ayesha Takia, Ranvijay Singh, Raghuvir Yadav and others in the cast. Read the Hindi film review at Calcutta Tube.
Love conquers all? Not quite
Nagesh Kukunoor’s latest celluloid venture “Mod” came packed with a lot of promises but even though it delivered an enticing 1st half, the movie fizzled out in the 2nd half.
The story begins in a small idyllic town of Ganga with a picturesque mountainous background and we are familiarised with Ananya (Ayesha Takia), a small town girl who mends watches and works in her aunt’s restaurant to earn her living.
Her father (Raghuvir Yadav) is a habitual drunkard who is in love with Kishore Kumar and his wife who had left him long while back. He however isn’t the usual sad Devdas type even though he does offer the usual love guru wisdom to his daughter from time to time.
Life moves on slowly in the little town until one day Andy (Ranvijay) walks up to Ananya’s doorstep with a watch needing a helping hand. Things start to look interesting when the boy turns up with the same wet watch everyday and just when he starts to look suspicious, Andy sprouts out a beautiful poetry and just like that the journey kicks off.
What happens next is however far from normal but I won’t give the twists away so sorry no spoilers, let’s just say it gets interesting from here on.
The story – 2.5/5
I am sorry Mr. Kukunoor, but though you had an opportunity to take the usual banal Bollywood masala romance by storm, somewhere you just lost your way.
Yes “Mod” has all the right elements to make that difference and story wise perhaps had the liberty to create the most mature and alluring love story of years to come. The magic however, is only a glimpse of what could have been.
Quirky lifelike characters with the right amount of laughter thrown in between love-struck moments keep you glued to this romantic saga and as Andy’s mysterious past builds up to a cinematic climax pre intermission, we lick our lips in anticipation of what lies beneath the candy romance.
Sadly however that is where the excitement ends as the so called treatment that follows to cure the protagonist’s illness is flawed to say the least. It is a common disease among film makers to tread upon the subject of psychotic disorders with extreme callousness but we expect more from the man who gave us so much in the past.
Yet Nagesh too falls in the same trap of knowing too little about what transpires in a broken mind and treats the subject with a casual off handedness even though it is ingrained in the very fabric of the story.
One small glimpse – a doctor with years of experience in the field appears a lot less convincing than a young girl in love who “did research in the internet”.
The conviction of the characters appear to be shady and their motives fail to convince us in entirety that why the separation of the lovers is essential at least from their standpoints. Even Ananya’s actions would appear bordering on the insane to most minds who view movies with their brains in their skulls. But if you choose to leave it at home because of habit of watching the recent Bolly potboilers then none of it may matter much to you.
If not, then the ending will definitely hit the wrong chords.
The direction and technique – 3/5
A pictorially lush green hill town and lots of scenic beauty is a deadly combo for any cinematographer and “Mod” doesn’t fall short of depicting that visual flare.
Going hand in hand with the latest Bollywood visual revolution this movie too produces some stimulating graphic descriptions of the characters while capturing all of their moods brilliantly.
Even with the failing storyline the handling of the subject on camera has been commendable with the expositions of facts relayed at all the correct moments. It is a shame that the handling of mental depravity in entirety hasn’t been as quintessential as is required by a modern day classic.
Nagesh has also used some fine lines for the characters giving them the touch of a dreamer that he is within the boundary of accepted pragmatic attitude.
The acting – 3/5
Ranvijay could have blown this apart, he could have floored the audience with the opportunity that he had but in the end it appeared as though he was trying but not living the part of Andy.
He has worked hard on trying to play a reticent individual which is a contrast to his real persona but that effort is visible on the screen, which made it slightly more technical and not that actual.
Still to be fair to him it was a tough proposition for anyone, let alone for a first time lead actor.
Ayesha Takia will win a lot of hearts with her smiles and spirited performance but she hasn’t quite hogged the spotlight on her despite having such ample screen space.
Indeed the limelight was drawn to Raghuvir Yadav and the rest of the supporting cast for putting up an effective backdrop to this odd romance saga. They make us laugh and offer those necessary tit-bits that make “Mod” more enjoyable to watch.
The music – 3/5
The music is soulful and touching and offers aid to the screenplay as a whole.
The song “Tu Hi Tu” is especially worth mentioning as it is beautiful and offers that subtle harmonic feast to your ears.
Raghuvir Yadav plays the singer here quite a few times and it isn’t quite suiting an experience for the eardrums. He should seriously stick to acting and forget about Kishore da for a while!
So should you stop at this “Mod”?
If romance is your genre then “Mod” is worth watching as it offers something to those minds tired of watching similar love stories being replayed in Bollywood.
If however, you are actually addicted to the usual song and dance spice, then “Mod”’s romance may not be the broth for you to ingest.
– Arnab Chakraborty