The ApunKaChoice movie review of Mod. Nagesh Kukunoor’s film Mod is strictly for the patient souls who can happily soak in the verdant surrounding of a love story unraveling at a snail’s pace.
Set in a picturesque hill town, the film narrates the story of Aranya (Ayesha Takia) who runs a clock repair shop, while her drunkard dad (Raghuvir Yadav) trips on Kishore Kumar songs or waits for his estranged wife at the railway station.
Andy (Rannvijay Singh), a shy stranger, arrives in the town and begins to make rounds of Aranya’s shop on the pretext of getting his watch repaired. Slowly, Aranya develops a soft spot for this shy stranger. Love sprouts and flowers. But the romantic idyll is painfully broken by a revelation about Andy.
As Andy’s life spins out of control, will Aranya, who’s being blamed for his plight, move on or stick by him?
The obvious question is: does the movie mark Kukunoor’s return to his vintage days of Iqbal and Dor. The answer is monosyllabic: NO.
How come? First and foremost, the fact that Mod is an official remake of the 2007 Taiwanese film Keeping Watch isn’t amiss on an informed viewer. So Kukunoor can’t really claim the credit for coming up with an extraordinary love story. Secondly, the film unspools at the pace of an arthouse movie, taking its own sweet time to make a point. The scenes of Aranya and Andy sitting beside the waterfall like two lolling walruses with no care in the world, or the stretched plot progression after Andy’s truth is revealed could leave the impatient viewers shuffling in their seats.
That said, the film does have moments that weigh heavy on your heart. Ayesha’s dogged determination to cure Andy and win his love leaves you with a lump in the throat. In that sense, Mod veritably steers into the template of Kukunoor’s inspiring films like Dor and Iqbal.
Ayesha Takia is doubtlessly the moving force behind Mod. She’s decidedly retrained and yet doesn’t dither in letting the floodgates of pent-up emotions open if the scene requires it. Rannvijay is saddled with a challenging role and he makes a fine fist of it. On the sidelines, Tanvi Azmi (as Ayesha’s aunt) and Raghuvir Yadav (as Ayesha’s dad) deliver well.
On the whole, Mod is a love story with a jab of inspiration. But the film is very slow and sluggish. Perhaps Kukunoor took the traffic advice of going slow on the mod a tad too seriously.
If anything, the film leaves you with breathtaking images (captured by cinematographer Chirantas Das) of a mountainous idyll.