What a take off into the storm!
Controversy’s child makes an appearance on the big screen and you will find yourself involved with the characters. The storytelling is so good, you will want the good guys to win. You will take sides. You will despair at the bad guys. You will love the characters, hate them, and just be plain horrified and disturbed by them, but you will not come away untouched.
Next time you see someone wearing reflective sunglasses, I’m going to imagine him to be like Balli.
Next time someone says they’re looking at MOOCs, I will remember ASI Sartaj Singh who passed his BA by correspondence course.
Next time someone says they’re jamming with friends, I’m going to wonder if Tommy is singing about a lost girl somewhere.
Next time someone says they wish they were going up to the hills with the gang, I would wish to have Dr. Preet’s number at hand
Next time someone says, our films cannot hold the audiences, I will drag them to watch this movie. It manages to tell the story of users, abusers, of people who want to milk the system and those who want to help drag people out of this vicious circle.
Dr. Preet is played convincingly by Kareena Kapoor (she makes you forget she was a caricature of a doctor in 3 Idiots, and even in Kambakkt Ishq). She is so gorgeous, she lights up every frame. And it’s a relief because she is running a drug rehabilitation clinic, which is gritty and not a pretty sight.
ASI Sartaj Singh is played convincingly by Diljit Dosanjh and the movie ought to receive a star simply because he looks at Dr. Preet like she’s immensely edible and is embarrassed by his thoughts. That he accomplishes without looking like some food deprived Ranjeet or Gulshan Grover…
Shahid Kapoor as the wild Tommy Singh is cool, and his character at once ghastly, at once kinky, at once ‘I’m never going to allow my daughter to any rock concert’ bad, and at once ‘is there any good in him?’ I loved his transformation and it is such a pleasure to watch him transform. Yes, for a habitual user this transformation seems to be too convenient, but hey, it’s Bollywood, and love is strangely miraculous.
Plainly shocked at what characters in the movie can do to Aalia Bhat, it took me a while to watch the screen without upchucking my coffee. But I felt the same when ASI Sartaj says, ‘Now you will realise what it is to lie within the system and betray it…’
The violence in the words may not be what the big city coffee shop crowd tweets about, but then the big city coffee shop crowds are also dealing with uber urban recreational drugs. The story is the same. The vituperative language is so natural, you know the expletives belong there. They have not been added to make silly women giggle and go, ‘Haw!’
The movie is so claustrophobic at times, you begin to look at the Goa billboard with the same need for release. The events that hasten the end even I couldn’t have predicted. And when the credits roll, you begin to breathe.