Sona Jain?s For Real is a well-intentioned but stilted drama about a fractured marriage and how the tension between the parents impacts on their six-year-old daughter Shruti, who starts to believe that her mother is actually an alien.
Jain, who has also written the film, delves fearlessly into a difficult subject ? For Real attempts to show us how deeply traumatic parental discord is for a child.
But Jain?s telling of the tale is painfully slow and mostly clumsy.
For Real is bogged down by the awkward dialogue in English, a predictable portrait of a disintegrating marriage, the overtly literal translation of the child?s psychological landscape and amateurish acting by the adults.
Sarita Choudhary as Priya, Adil Hussain as her too-busy-to-care doctor husband Ravi and Sameer Dharamadhikari as their psychiatrist friend Deepak are saddled with under-written characters whom they never manage to bring to life.
It doesn?t help that Priya spends an inordinate amount of time lying listlessly in the bathtub and Deepak constantly looks grimly thoughtful.
The best feature in For Real is the children. Zoya S Hasan as the troubled Shruti and Sriharsh Sharma as her brother Paras have some genuine moments.
Indian cinema pays little attention to children. For Real had the potential to make a substantial comment but the film never fulfills this. I?m going with two stars.