CAST & CREW
Be it his choice of movies, his tweets or his antics in general, controversy and Ram Gopal Verma go hand in hand. This time, he picks up a controversial case from the annals of the Indian Judiciary for his new crime thriller. Based on the infamous Neeraj Grover murder case which shook the nation in 2008, Idi Prema Katha Kadu (Also released as ‘ Not a Love Story’ in Hindi in 2011) presents the crime and the subsequent verdict which followed.
Plot: The movie starts with Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill), a struggling actress trying to find a foothold in the competitive world of the Hindi film Industry. After a series of rejections, she finally gets a role with the help of a Casting Director Ashish Bhatnagar ( Ajay Gehi) who develops a crush on her. As things get hot and steamy between the two, one fateful morning they’re caught by Anusha’s fiancé Robin ( Deepak Dobriyal) who, in a fit of rage stabs Ashish to death.
The couple then plans to hide the body for obvious reasons. They chop off his body in some 300 pieces and burn it on the outskirts of the city. The investigation begins when no one hears anything from Ashish in more than 24 hours. What follows is how the couple are caught and acquitted.
Analysis: Ram Gopal Verma is a voyeuristic filmmaker, and this movie is a solid proof. Starting from the choice of subject matter, the writing, and the camera work, everything about this movie is sensational; a lot of the times, in a bad way. The camera, which is the catchiest aspect of this mediocre thriller, is almost never stationary. Verma’s obsession with shaky camera work and filming a scene from every nook and corner continues here as well.
Other than the camera, the background score also disappoints. All the loud screeches, which should be effective in a thriller if used properly, ends up being just as irritating as TV Static. Once in every while, you wonder what happened to the man who gave us a gem in ‘ Satya’ and a far better thriller in ‘Kaun?’ The writing is average at best, where nothing more than what actually happened in the case is attempted to show.
Star Performances: Mahie Gill and Deepak Dobriyal are very talented actors, and they do a very good job here as well. Mahie is equally convincing as the sultry- seductress, as she is as the crying- culprit. Deepak Dobriyal, who has very limited dialogues, conveys a lot through his eyes and his face. You can clearly see the anger brewing inside him on his face. Ajay Gehi has very little to do as a dead body but is good in his early scenes. The supporting cast doesn’t have much to do.
1. The setting, the atmosphere and running time is well suited for a thriller.
2. Almost no gore or blood spills. Ram Gopal Verma keeps the violence suggestive, keeping the focus on the crime, rather how it was committed.
3. The constant camera movement, along with the strong performances, makes a deep impact sometimes, like towards the end where a lawyer outlines the entire murder plan and the camera spins around like a culprit’s head would when caught.
What’s not there?
1. The absence of a strong plot. The writing is weak and doesn’t try to delve into the depths of the case.
2. The direction is typical new age Ram Gopal Verma: Style over substance.
3. A lot of times, the constant motion of the camera is unnecessary and might make one nauseous by the time the trial comes to an end.
Verdict: On a whole, this movie is a waste of serious talent. The movie lacks ambition in every department. This is just a movie about a murder case, attempted to shock and awe, where the writers don’t create a complex study of the human psyche nor focus completely on any aspect of one of the most controversial trials in recent times.
This might only appeal to fans of Ram Gopal Varma or people who don’t have anything else to watch and are okay with watching mediocre procedural thrillers. Just don’t forget to carry tablets for an upcoming headache. Or you can stay home and watch Verma’s much superior thriller ‘Kaun?’
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