This movie begins with a lot of promise, but then falls into a trap in which the director, Navdeep Singh, does not know how to extricate himself. With the sequence in the investigation of a crime leading from one scene to another, the director loses focus, thus complicating the narration. The end too is nothing short of a tragedy. In the sense, it falls short of the expectations of a crime thriller.
Abhay Deol is a writer who is unwittingly entrusted the task of unearthing the dealings of a politician played by Kulbushan Kharbanda. Sarika, the one who entrusts him the task, gives him a major clue before she is bumped of by his goons. She tells him her name is ‘Manorama’ and she is 32 years old. Incidentally, Manorama is also the name of Satyaveer Singh’s (Abhay Deol) first crime novel.
Abhay, married to Gul Panag has been suspended from his government job, pending inquiry, on suspicion of taking a bribe. Free from the drudgery of going to the office daily, he gets an opportunity to play real life detective when Sarika lands at his doorstep with an unusual request, and an advance payment. The offer is too good to refuse and Abhay finds himself sucked into an assignment he has to see the end of.
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The script leaves a lot of loopholes which leaves one asking questions. Like for instance, why does Gul have to leave with her son and go to her parent’s house for Diwali; why does Abhay have to lie about Raima Sen, who he gets into his house while his wife is away; why does Abhay not get caught for the ‘crime’ he is framed for; why does Vinay Pathak, a police officer and Gul’s brother, disappear for most part of the second half; why is Abhay never scared on taking on the might of a politician with solid backing from goons? I mean, he is not a cop, neither is he a criminal. So a normal guy, going about solving a murder mystery, without a trace of confusion or fear is hard to digest.
The sets are close to real and the lighting perfect which sets off the mood. Right from Abhay’s home to his furnishings to the clothes he and his wife wear are very real, befitting the salary of a government employee. Even the tiffs between the two are well shot. In fact, the two give it a real feel with their natural acting. Both Gul and Abhay excel here. Abhay with his nonchalant approach, and Gul with her sucking in the demands of the scene. This is one actress who understands the requirement of a scene and moves in to blend with the shot. Nothing ostentatious, simply effective, that is how you can describe the performance of both, Gul and Abhay.
To be honest, the script does not do justice to the collective talent of Abhay Deol, Gul Panag, Raima Sen and Vinay Pathak, all of who are brilliant actors. Raima in particular is falling into a trap. Either her selection of roles is wrong or she is not getting the right offers.
Another factor that is bound to work against the movie is the only ‘two-show per day’ schedule. Clearly, there are not going to be a lot many takers. With this move, it looks like the makers have ensured that Manorama, does go six feet under, even before the first few days!