By Sameer Wadekar, Bollywood Trade News Network
BEING CYRUS starts off with a voice-over by Saif Ali Khan who introduces himself and fleetingly describing his unhappy past. The film then switches on into a flashback and the story then begins to unfold itself. The setting is Panchgani where a frustrated Parsi couple Dinshaw Setna (Naseeruddin Shah) and Katie Sethna (Dimple Kapadia) live in a secluded cottage. Dinshaw is brilliant at pottery but an eccentric chap at the same time. Cyrus arrives there claiming to be a great admirer of Dinshaw and begs for his tutelage. Dinshaw agrees but it's Katie who is more than eager to let the young man in. Cyrus finds it hard to avoid Katie's advances and soon the chemistry between the two sparks off. But later on Cyrus realizes that there's more to Katie than meets the 'eye'. Enter Farookh (Boman Irani), Dinshaw's brother and his lovely wife Tina (Simone Singh) who live in Mumbai with his old and helpless father Fardoonjee Setna (Honey Chaya). The story then marches on and we stand witness to the curly web of incidents, which entangle a web deceit and a bunch of lurid characters.
Debutant director Homi Adjania has done a decent job and shows a lot of maturity in his executional skills. He has accomplished some sequences in the film deftly and this is not that an easy subject, mind you! He has paced the film slow but has provided utmost care to the gradual development of the premise. The characters seem real and the situations create an impact but some sequences at times they do not look convincing though fit in well and do not slide away from the plot. The screenplay is sound and dialogues resonating and Homi has been assisted well by Kersi Khambatta on the script. The cinematography by Jehangir Chowdhury is captivating and succeeds in lending a realistic feel to the film. But it's Salim-Sulaiman's background score that standout. The music is striking and helps to propel the story elegantly.
The performances from the cast could be summed up in just one word- sincere! All the characters make a lasting impact and stay with you much after the film gets over. Naseer is once again flawless as a 'Parsi' and Dimple is simply stunning as his cunning and seductive wife. Saif Ali Khan is brilliant and this performance should definitely go down as one of his finest! The scene where he cold-bloodedly kills the crippled Fardoonjee is sure to shock your guts out of you! For a moment you feel he is reprising his role in EK HASINA THI but soon you realize that he is a good man at heart and just a hapless pawn in a twisted game! Boman Irani (a Parsi himself) plays the character with incredible perfection and is surely the show-stealer! Watch out for the scene where he quarrels with a cranky fat lady who is his neighbor! Simone Singh and Manoj Pahwa (as the cop) do a fine job and provide an able support!
BEING CYRUS is not the regular masala movie of Bollywood that hits thetheater every other Friday! It's an offbeat movie that requires a good amount of patience and in the end what you get is a prudent piece of work! Surely this is a multiplex movie but efforts must be made to cater it to a wider section of audience! Again the entire film being in English could just be a deterrent but when you wanna experience a good cinema language need not be a barrier! Plus, how many Bollywood films have depicted Parsi community insightfully? This film revolves around a dysfunctional Parsi family but is minus the typical cardboard Parsi stereotypes that one is used to seeing in our Hindi 'phillums'! Overall, BEING CYRUS is a dark and brooding film with a shrewd story line and a plethora of some excellent performance form the ensemble cast!