Not A Love Story (2011)-Hindi Movie Review

Aug 22, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Not A Love Story is a 2011 Bollywood film by Ram Gopal Varma with Mahie Gill, Deepak Dobriyal and others in cast. Read the Hindi movie review at Calcutta Tube.
Ram Gopal Verma touches previously claimed territory to infuse fictional substance into a shocking real incident and though he displays sparks of brilliance at times, “Not a Love Story” doesn’t quite get the job done.

The background

The film opens with a separation of two lovers -Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill), an aspiring actress, and her obsessive boyfriend Robin (Deepak Dobriyal).

Ramu then traverses a familiar path portraying Anusha as she struggles to get an entry in the glamour industry (remember Rangeela and Naach). After chop and slash expositions of a stream of characters RGV finally manages to roll the wheels and Anusha meets Neeraj- oops- Ashish (Ajay Gehi).

Ashis is a non-raunchy helpful casting director who manages to make Anusha smile by offering her with a much needed break after all the recurring rejections.

The pair decides to have a little physical tango but the crisis starts when Robin pays a surprise visit to her apartment and stumbles upon a naked Ashish walking around.

Thus the crime of passion and the subsequent nightmarish experiences ensue with cop (Zakir Hussain) hot on the trail of the duo.

The story – 2.5/5

Not a Love Story puts up that customary disclaimer vouchsafing the originality of the fiction but this “Johnny” lie can be caught by every “papa” and “momma” who have a keen eye for the news.

RGV has ripped the story straight off the news pages and cooped up his own fictional version of the appalling drama over Neeraj Groover’s murder case.

Even if you can tear yourself away from the obvious indications, like the girl seeking a role, the helpful Bollywood man, the vengeful lover, the chopping and so on, you will still have a hard time digesting some of the anomalies.

For example- two people making love while a dead body is left to drain on the floor just a like another piece of furniture, the sudden kisses, the unnecessary dragging of the courtroom drama while the actual moment of killing is just a blur, so on and so forth.

It is truly a shame that such a wonderful topic of stark reality is handled with such light headed callousness, that turned a killer idea into a shoddy script.

The dark ominous handling and the love between the two people despite all the horrors they put each other through, does manage to win some brownie points for Ramu but in the end it becomes too little compensation for too great a drag.

The direction and technique – 2/5

There was just one blaring query that agonized my faculties- What was the genre of the movie?
I had gone into the theatre believing it to be a romance-thriller but a few scenes with the camera sticking under Mahie’s skirt, I wondered if it was an attempt at a borderline soft porn.

But nah, that was proved wrong too by the sudden influx of tobacco tones, shaky jerky camera angles and after image techniques, and I was left questioning if this was a horror flick.

But that wasn’t enough and more torment followed with the camera going wild as the post investigation courtroom drama started. I remember lamenting the absence of those happy go luck days when one could remain engrossed with a fixed view on the 70’s Bollywood lawyer saying, “My Lord mere client…”

Experimentation is great as long as it succeeds and what works in moments doesn’t work throughout the film, RGV needs to realise that.

Watching this film one can wonder where Ramu had lost the stands on which the camera is stationed because it either jerks a lot in manual handling or is kept on the ground or perhaps tied to the fan above. There are a lot of skewed angles that just like the twisted script cause nothing more than nausea.

Perhaps instead of popcorn buckets one can take an empty one? I am sure the ticket sales would improve with that simple free bucket with each ticket!

The acting- 4/5

The acting is what truly shines in this letdown venture.

Mahie Gill is quite natural in all the shades that she can physically handle and emotionally master. It isn’t really her fault if she is made to do the impossible of creating the legendary Rangeela vibe.

Urmila had coined that role forever as one of her masterpieces and not even RGV (who made the original) can bring anyone else close to that subtly sensual scintillating performance.

But despite that obvious oomphless attempt Gill still shines quite brightly and the rest of the cast also pulls up their pants quite neatly to make the characters come alive on screen.

Deepak Dobriyal is however a little too angry for comfort and rolls his eyes with a psychologically challenged ferocity. His behaviour suits a psychotic crook more than that of a working class man no matter how obsessed he is with the girl.

While obsession can be fearsome attribute it still is not reason enough for a well bred ordinary man to go bonkers and kill another man and then chop him to pieces without a trace of reticence in his eyes.

Still he too appears to be a victim of the script and despite the unbelievable cold blooded behaviour he does remains true to his part.

The music- 1.5/5  

The music has not been made for this film in all entirety. Really that can’t be the truth, there must be some mistake.

At times the music plays in its own wake and does nothing to compliment the tales on screen like the time when a straining music plays in the back ground after Mahie gets the offer. Why should we get scared by that?

The answer is still a mystery to me as is the rest of the screeching, honking and blaring throughout the movie.

Perhaps to a more illuminated blood-thirsty mind the tracks would be logical but to me they sounded distracting and a constant hindrance to the progress of smooth screenplay.

Can this story be loved?

It is a fast paced thriller with overkill moments and prolonged horror which is sure to cause excitement in every mind.

If however you need something more than pace and acting to get you on those seats in the movie halls, then this sketchy adaptation of a real-world stunner, can be crossed off your to do list for the weekends.

If not, then at least get something to take care of the nausea and the headaches you will get once you go through with RGV’s latest flick.

– Arnab Chakraborty

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