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Via Darjeeling

  | March 07, 2014 09:48 IST
Via Darjeeling
  • Genre:
  • Cast:
    Kay Kay Menon, Parvin Dabbas, Prashant Narayanan,
  • Director:
    Arindam Nandy
  • Music:
    Prabuddha Banerjee
A releatively smaller film than Thoda Pyaar playing at a theatre near you is called Via Darjeeling. It's directed by a first time filmmaker Arindam Nandy. What I found quite exciting about the film actually is its producer. It's the government sponsored NFDC. They were the ones, back in the day, responsible for films of Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Satyajit Ray, Naseer, Om, Shabana, Smita Patil… you name it. Several of those films have survived in public memory after decades. Since they are still talked about. Those, according to me, are true hits. And I think that's also because they were looking beyond just packing in theatres on the first weekend of a film. Well this one is also, to use a common parlance, an off-beat film. It's about a newly wed couple honeymooning in Kalimpong, near Darjeeling. The husband that's Kay Kay Menon is apparently kidnapped. There is another person, Parveen Dabbas, who'd been following the wife around the hill-station. Sonali Kulkarni plays the wife. We know nothing else. As it turns out, we also get to know, this is not the story of the film. This is only a premise of a story that a few friends are discussing privately at home. Each friend comes up with their own version of why exactly the kidnapping took place. Each time the story changes completely. It's a spin-a-yarn contest. The fundamental thing about a story that involves you is that you're first involved with the characters. The protagonists here are obviously not going to engage you. Because you're not even supposed to know anything about them. What's left then is not a film. Only a clever idea. What's left is also a huge line-up of actors, right from Vinay Pathak to the over-the-top Sonali Kulkarni. Rarely have such good performers seemed so lost and staccato in a film before. The pace of the movie is what in Bombay streets they call thakela. You could say that about this movie as well.
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