Not A Love Story is interesting in bits and pieces
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Aug 19, 2011 14:13:59 GMT
The ApunKaChoice movie review of Not A Love Story. The promos of Ram Gopal Varma’s latest offering Not A Love Story warned that the movie is not for the fainthearted. I say it’s not for the frail of neck. Why? For the most part of the film, the viewers will be canting and craning their neck left, right, and -- if physically possible -- downside up, just following the camera movements. No sooner than you’ve seen a dozen such dizzying shot compositions, the obvious thought pops up in your head: which doped out gymnast did Ramu rope in as DoP? But then, knowing well the filmmaker’s oeuvre, you realize that the mind behind the DoP’s freewheeling hand is verily Ramu’s. Which, in fact, turns out well for Not A Love Story.
Ramu approaches the film from the point of view of a thriller and not just a macabre love story, which all those who’ve been following the infamous 2008 murder case that inspired the film would expect. So the squeamish ladies planning to stay away from NALS for the fear of being subjected to the gorefest of a body being chopped into tiny pieces, breathe easy! The good Ramu eschews blood splattering. What he rather focuses on is the torrid relationship between the lead players, Mahi Gill and Deepak Dobriyal, their passion, crime, guilt, and punishment.
Gill plays a struggling actress Anusha who, after many rejections, gets her lucky break, thanks to a casting director Ashish (Ajay Gehi). But hell breaks loose when her overpossessive boyfriend Robin (Deepak Dobriyal) lands at her apartment and finds the two cozying up. What follows is a murder of the most shocking nature.
It’s clear that director RGV and writer RGB (Rohit G. Banawlikar) have gleaned the details from the real case but filled the gaps with their own fictitious account, justified by the disclaimer denouncing any similarity to real life incidents. The film starts on a tepid note but grips you like a vice when the murder unfolds. The grip loosens and almost fades away in the second half when the plot veers into courtroom dramas populated by the overacting cast playing the lawyers. However, Zakir Hussain playing the cool headed cop out to unearth the truth about the missing man does leave an impression.
Equally riveting performances are put in by the lead cast: Mahi Gill and Deepak Dobriyal. Gill is every bit the portrait of a whimpering, haggard, persecuted girl and Dobriyal is the wide-eyed, neurotic lover who says less and yet expresses a lot.
Many times during its course, Not A Love Story almost turns into a mood piece, with its lingering close-ups and background score (Sandeep Chowta). Ramu tells the story without trying to foist a moral message on the viewers. His intent is to depict the psyche of the people who commit the extreme crime of passion. In that sense, this film is verily a love story.