Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mithya - Art of a thriller!!

Mithya starts off as benignly as good pulp thrillers generally do - doing a nice sketch of the protagonist, replete with his small dreams, manipulations and limitations. But boss, what transpires after that is what I have not seen before on Indian screens as yet. The film goes beyond the pages of a racy thriller and puts in a poignant story of a manipulated human being.

I cannot tell you the story, not any more than what all other reviews are telling or summaries on various websites. That would be too hard on people. Good cinema lovers shall do well to troop to the nearest movie hall and see the film. I have enjoyed it and have resolved to open a McD bottle (alongwith that free glass as in the movie, now where is that going to be on offer - Krishna wines??) and then discuss the movie in all its glory with friends, movie lovers and the likes!

Suffice to say, character sketches have never come so razor sharp in the near past. Ranvir Sheroy has so many shades to his character that he is something of a mystery somewhere in the second half, and this when he has a very commoner feel when the movie starts. I have found another good actor called Brijendra Kala, or so the credits say, playing a henchman's role. Gosh, one cannot take an eye off this guy when he is on view!

Some fabulous oneliners populate the movie. It must be, Sourabh Shukla is there as a writer here and going great guns as always. Some onliners shall go on to be very popular too. But, "Samundar mein nahake aur bhi namkeen ho gayi ho!!" takes the cake for its inventiveness!

I found that while the humour is there all through, I felt sad for the protagonist. That is where this story crackles. The poignancy never leaves you right through just as troubles never seem to leave Ranvir. This is a nice story in itself without any gimmicks.

I also liked the fact that it did not delve too much into the character sketches of the supporting cast and concentrated on the lead character's plight all through. The support cast was almighty and performances are galore. The pitch of each of the support cast was perfect including 1 minute cameos of Honey Irani, Suhasini Mulay and the likes! Of course, do I even need to mention the competence of Vinay Pathak, Saurabh Shukla, Harsh Chaya and some others!!

Naseer acts as a Bhai here. I was a little disappointed with his character. He could have been much more. A wee bit lazy, I felt..or may be that's just the way the director visioned the role. Neha Dhupia wants to do good films but needs to be more expressive to do well in such movies. The director, of course, has cast her as a dumb belle here.

That brings me to Rajat Kapoor's work. As a director, this is his third attempt and very different from his other movies. He has adorned his frames with a lot of dark shades suitably colouring his characters to tell a poignant story of lies and deceit. He then employs the technique of moving the story ahead with conversation, clever twists and a mood that towers over his scenes. This mood is solemn with humour rounding off the rough edges of every scene.

He concieves a lot of scenes from the POV of Ranvir, the Bhais and the women. This gives a wholesome round look to most scenes. Impeccable are many scenes, but some notably more so -

1. The photography scene of VK by the henchmen.

2. The Chai scene between Ranvir and Irawati (very well concieved character, hers)

3. The Punju scene at Honey Irani's place.

4. The first boat scene.

5. The classic asking for breakfast and lunch scene by VK.

6. VK's bathroom scene as Raje bhai.

The Editing merits a mention and so does the Camerawork. They create the moody scenes with a flourish. Plenty on view here in terms of craft. I was not enamoured by the songs. The background score is not harsh, a ploy in many thrillers these days!!

Mithya has a lot of cinematic substance. People may find it slow or not enough masala type. But go see it. ( Sorry, I will do a star exercise here)

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