Hansal Mehta, Meghna Gulzar, Sanjay Gupta, Apoorva Lakhia, Jasmeet Dhodi
Gourov Dasgupta, Bappi Lahiri, Shafqat Ali Khan, Anand Raj Anand.
Virag Mishra, Panchhi Jalonvi, Ambar Hoshiyarpuri, Ibrahim Ashq.
Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Nana Patekar, Neha Uberoi, Dino Morea, Vidya Balan, Amrita Singh, Aftab Shivdasani.
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
First things first; hats off to Sanjay Gupta for experimenting with 10 stories in one film. The good news is that the experiment has turned off well and the interesting mix of 10 films for the price of one will go down well with the audience! That’s not all. It is also the first time where we have an assortment of directors vying for the honours, whereas, normally it is an assortment of stars who hog the limelight. Not only has Gupta assembled a very interesting mix of actors, but also has gotten together a mix of good directors who all put their best ‘take’ forward!
Another point to be noted and lauded is the crisp manner in which each story is told. The entire movie is over inside two hours and that is saying a lot for the technical expertise of the production house. Not one story goes overboard in trying to get their point across.
I’ll run you through a brief take on each story.
Cast: Mandira Bedi, Arbaaz Khan and Sudhanshu Pandey
Dir: Sanjay Gupta
Arbaaz and Mandira are two happily married couple. At least that’s what the world sees. But Mandira has a dark secret; she has a lover, unkown to her husband. But what she does not know is that her husband too is not lagging behind! He too has a lover!! How she finds out is what takes the viewer by surprise.
Performance: Both Mandira and Arbaaz look fabulous. And within the time-frame given, both give off a good performance. Sanjay Gupta begins the proceedings with a bang.
HIGH ON THE HIGHWAY
Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Masumeh
Dir: Hansal Mehta
This is one unique love story. It’s not known whether the characters do drugs or are addicted to alcohol. Also, why they walk on dark highways is not clear. What comes out loud is their love for each other. A little confusing.
Performance: Jimmy Shergill and Masumeh are just about OK.
Cast: Amrita Singh, Minisha Lamba and Parmeet Sethi
Dir: Meghna Gulzar
Adapted from writer Kartar Singh Duggal’s short story, POORANMASHI is about the mother-daughter bond. Amrita Singh’s dark secret is out in the open. But the villagers think it is her daughter who is to blame. It’s a catch-22 situation for Amrita. Her daughter’s marriage is already doomed. Can she tell the truth? Seeing her mother’s plight, and understanding the truth, Minisha (her daughter) sacrifices her life by jumping into the well.
Performance: Watch out for Amrita’s emotions when she is torn between the devil and the deep sea. Meghna Gulzar tackles the subject with aplomb.
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
Cast: Neha Dhupia, Mahesh Manjrekar
Dir: Sanjay Gupta
This is one story, like HIGH ON THE HIGHWAY, that does not meet the standards. Yes, it goes with the look and feel of the other stories but there is the basic premise missing on which to base the story. Every anniversary, Mahesh and Neha share a secret. This year, it’s Neha’s turn, but what she begins telling is not what was actually imagined by the viewer.
Performance: Not much to say about the performances of the lead actors simply because there was not much for them to do.
Cast: Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah
Dir: Rohit Roy
This one’s a cracker of a story with a super performance from Shabhana Azmi. It’s about a Hindu woman, her staunch beliefs and her chance meeting with a Muslim man. That one meeting changes her perception of what she always believed. She begins to embrace life and society.
Performance: A sensitive story handled sensibly by Rohit Roy.
Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Dia Mirza
Dir: Sanjay Gupta
What happens when you take your beautiful next door neighbour’s concern and friendship for love? This is exactly what happens to Manoj Bajpai when he reads differently into Dia Mirza’s friendship. Just out of a relationship and a steady job, Manoj does what every one-track minded hot-blooded male will do when with a beautiful girl. But there is a price he has to pay for his one act of madness. The end is startling.
Performance: Manoj Bajpai has worked hard on his physique. The talent was always there. He is now a more complete product with looks and talent to match. Dia, surprisingly, looks sexy. Her make-up has never been so good on screen. Add to it her subtle performance and you have an engrossing story.
Cast: Anupam Kher, Aftab Shivdasani and Neha Oberoi
Dir: Jasmeet Dhodi
Another story like HIGH ON THE HIGHWAY and STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT which does not make the mark. It’s about a ghost who lends Neha Oberoi an ear-ring which leads her to Aftab Shivdasani, her eventual life partner.
Performance: Nothing much performance-wise.
SEX ON THE BEACH
Cast: Dino Morea and Tareena Patel
Dir: Apoorvia Lakhia
When lust takes over, it does not always end up in sex. This one is a chilly story that manages to scare the wit out of you. Dino picks a worn out book on the beach and, as instructed, writes his name on the first page (has he just signed his death warrant?). Then follows the sequence of events that lands him in the sea!
Performance: Dino is maturing as an actor and this is showing in his confident gait. Tareena is just about Ok. Apoorva Lakhia leaves his mark.
Cast: Anita Hasnandani, Nana Patekar and Rohit Roy
Dir: Sanjay Gupta
If Shabhana Azmi in RICE PLATE is super. Nana Patekar in GUBBARE is mind-blowing. This is a different Nana in action. No head-banging, no rattling of dialogues, no spewing of venom. Just a simple man, carrying red balloons for his departed wife.
Performance: Sanjay Gupta springs a surprise with this one.
RISE AND FALL
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty
Dir: Sanjay Gupta and Hansal Mehta
This one falls in the category of HIGH ON THE HIGHWAY, LOVE DALE and STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. However, it is slick and has traces of DUS and KAANTE. A gangsta story. It’s too dark (pun intended) to make anything of it.
Performance: Sanjay Dutt is deadly as usual while Suniel Shetty provides him good support.
To go or not: Definitely, this film is worth a watch. What you will come back with is memories of Shabhana Azmi and Nana Patekar. Sanjay Gupta has taken a path less trodden. That’s what creativity is all about.
Ratings : 3 / 5
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