This week is certainly a 'thrilling' week as two thrillers - YEH SAALI ZINDAGI and UTT PATAANG release at the box office. Vinay Pathak, the 'big' star of 'small' films, is playing a double role for the first time in the latter.
The film is basically an account of happenings on one particular night. Ram (Vinay Pathak) is a 35-year-old aam aadmi from Mumbai who has just broken up with his girlfriend Sanjana (Mahie Gill). Nandu (Saurabh Shukla) is his private detective friend. While having dinner at a restaurant, Ram and Nandu meet Koyal (Mona Singh), who's heartbroken after being betrayed by her boyfriend. Nandu hooks up Ram with Koyal and sneaks away surreptitiously. While Ram and Koyal are having a good time eating kulfis, Sanjana visits Ram's house to pick her belongings. But she's flabbergasted to find her current boyfriend and gangster Lucky (Vinay, again) there. A series of events involving many phone calls, police, a huge sum of money and lots of chaos unfold post this.
Director Srikanth V. Velagaleti uses the noir style efficiently. The pace is slow initially but the narrative slowly grows on you slowly. The style of narration which tells the story from each character's point of view is ingenious. There are numerous twists which keep you engrossed. On the flipside, it drags a bit post the interval, only to come back strongly in the hilariously tumultuous climax. There's a side-splitting scene in towards the end which has Nandu mouthing philosophical kahavats.
Arun Varma's cinematography is good. Editor Sankalp Meshram does a fine job. It could have been spurned a bit for better effect. Sanjoy Chowdhary's background score adds value. Saurabh Shukla's dialogues are excellent.
Vinay Pathak is decent as Ram but impresses in his gangster with French hangover act. Mahie Gill (DEV D) is passable. She lacks the edginess required for the role. Saurabh Shukla delivers an outstanding performance. Mona Singh is good. Sanjay Mishra is wasted.
Quaint, uproarious and intriguing, UTT PATAANG is a little gem that shouldn't be missed.