In these times of global recession, Siddharth-The Prisoner delivers an apt message.? It asks us to overcome our longings and desires and explores renunciation as the path to freedom.
The film begins with the protagonist Siddharth, played by Rajat Kapoor, being released from prison but Siddharth, echoing Gautam Buddha, remains a prisoner of circumstances and desires and only attains true freedom when he walks away from it all.?
What?s intriguing is that this journey to enlightenment is triggered by a briefcase filled with cash and involves a few nasty bhais, guns and of course the gritty by lanes of Mumbai.
The film, a sort of Rig Veda meets Ram Gopal Varma, must have sounded suitably lofty at the concept level but as cinema, it is as engaging as watching paint dry.?
Debutant director Pryas Gupta started with a compelling idea of disparate lives intersecting when briefcases get exchanged and the consequences of this exchange but then he stretched it to breaking point.?
Gupta creates some nice visuals but the film?s ponderous pace deflates any suspense the plot contains.? Siddharth?The Prisoner is only 90 minutes but it feels like a marathon slog.? Both the leads Kapoor and Sachin Nayak, whom you might know as the smiling light bulb from the Happy Dent commercials, are proficient.? But the script requires them to look haunted and then look haunted some more.?
For reasons that remain unclear, Gupta doesn?t explain key points in the film: like why Siddharth, an author who almost won the Booker prize, ends up in jail; why his wife wants to divorce him and why he seems so bereft of money, family or even one friend.? Siddharth the Prisoner sags under its own subtext.? This one is for die hards only.