Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: MANTRA

Could Have Been Great...

2 stars

Mini Review:

A dysfunctional family in the posh Pansheel area of New Delhi face their demons in their own ways. Their individual stories are interesting: a dad who is on the verge of bankruptcy but will not ask for help, a mother who is distraught about her marital life, the older son who is constantly berated by his father for being too involved with his own business, the daughter who feels like a prisoner, and the youngest son who struggles to find himself… Wish the stories had been better woven to create a mantra for success.

Main Review:

The best scene in the film belongs to Pia Kapoor (Kalki Koechlin) who goes to the stranger’s home to return his jacket and to say thank you for rescuing her from attackers, and breaks down in confession. So far into the film, you, the audience has just been watching with disinterest because there’s nothing new about dysfunctional families that the film has so far shown.

Rajat Kapoor is Kapil Kapoor, a potato chip magnate who is facing huge competition from a multinational food company, and has lost sleep as well as his sense of humor. He lives to worry and his whole demeanour is angry and on the brink of exploding. His utter discomfort in any social situation shows how good an actor he can be. But apart from showing us a glimpse of his humanity when he interacts with his dog, his role leaves us wanting to see more.

The wife’s character (Lushin Dubey) is limited and you wish there was some spark in her instead of just weeping. Also the youngest son gets to explore his sexuality via chatting on the net. That’s terribly predictable. But the older son Viraj (Shiv Pandit), who chooses to run his own restaurant seems to conduct his business on the phone. As audience, you wish he was doing more than be angry with his father, or drink at his restaurant.

Their stories seem to run parallel to each other and you wish they intersected. You can see a mile away how things are going to end, and even though you wish the story had given you more, you are forced to shrug and accept the story as is. It has humane moments, but none match the Kalki’s scene with her rescuer.

(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

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