Making a film based on a true story, whilst applying your own perspective to it is not an easy task. But maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, who has mastered in this aspect over the years, has gained expertise in doing so. His newly-released crime thriller NOT A LOVE STORY is based on the infamous love story of Maria Susairaj and Emile Jerome Mathew where the two have been accused to have done away with Neeraj Grover, in a rather brutal manner.
This bit of news itself is easy fodder for filmmakers of RGV's ilk. There's a struggling actress, a boyfriend in the Navy and a Television executive. The casting couch is no news to RGV. Being in the industry, he would be the first to know how it functions, if it does at all! To give it a realistic look, Ramu has used the same building, where the heinous crime took place.
NOT A LOVE STORY is a story of an aspiring actress, Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill) who is seeking to make it big in bollywood. But little does she know that fate has something else in store for her. After convincing her boyfriend, Robin (Deepak Dobriyal), of her intentions to work in films, Anusha shifts to the city of dreams. However, life is not what she had perceived it to be. From rejections to the casting couch, she witnesses everything. She manages to get a role in a Bollywood film through a casting director Ashish Bhatnagar (Ajay Gehi), who apparently falls in love with her. One day, Anusha's possessive lover Robin, decides to give Anusha a surprise. But boy, is he in for a surprise! He walks in to discover his girlfriend and Ashish in a comprising position. Filled with rage, Robin stabs Ashish to death. A baffled Anusha pretends she has been raped. The confused couple then disposes off the body in the cruelest manner. What follows next is the consequence of this atrocious murder.
Ramu has kept a few incidences as it has been reported in the media - like the couple making out in front of dead body, disposing off the body by cutting it into pieces, and the courtroom drama. He has also resisted from taking any sides. He has left the viewer to decipher as to what really could have happened.
RGV has also deftly incorporated the popular track 'Rangeela Re' from his own superhit film RANGEELA in the narrative. The song being played in the background completely elevates the entire feel of the film.
The film begins on high note and throughout, keeps the viewer in his seat. The parts which should have been elaborative are hurriedly done and vice-versa. Like Anusha's struggle to get a break in the industry is a tad too long, while the entire killing episode (which forms the crucial point in the film) is rapidly covered. The courtroom proceedings too, move on fast. As a viewer, you want more.
Ramu uses his trademark style of directing and once again gives too much significance to the camera angles and background score. Some camera angles were likeable while others were just annoying to the core. Rohit Banawlikar's writing does not go beyond the known case. It puts forth what the world is aware of. The background score by Sandeep Chowta is too loud.
Leading lady Mahi Gill (DEV D fame) gives a top-notch performance from the time she is trapped in the ugly situation. Deepak Dobriyal tries his best to get into the skin of the character but fails to impress by carrying a single expression throughout the film. Ajay Gehi enacts his role perfectly in the small part. Zakir Hussian, who plays a tough cop, suits the role to the T, adding some light-hearted moments too. Kudos to the rest of the cast too.