SHAB Movie Review: Bold but casual

Director : Onir
Music : Mithoon Sharma
Lyrics : Mithoon Sharma
Starring : Raveena Tandon, Ashish Bisht, Arpita Chatterjee, Areesz Gandhi and Sanjay Suri

July 15, 2017 10:02:51 AM IST
Shab Review By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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Sporting a shiny brief, Mohan (Ashish Bisht) is a struggling model, proud of his 'Italian' looks. A wealthy socialite and judge of a modeling competition Sonal (Raveena Tandon) turns into a cougar by night and Mohan is her latest toy. Sonal's husband (Sanjay Suri) is away travelling. Neel (Areesz Ganddi) runs a cafe and is trying to cope with the separation from his boyfriend. Neel's friend Raina (Arpita Chatterjee) and her French neighbor Benoit (Simon Frenay) are good friends. They all have a dream, ambition and a common string that ties them together - loneliness.


On the surface, Onir's SHAB (night) is a murky take of four individuals trapped in Delhi and how the change in seasons changes their perspective, outlook and life in the country's capital which unfortunately nowadays finds itself in the locations of plots involving rapes on women.

Onir known for his open and bold comments in his films that earlier spoke about AIDS and Homosexuality (MY BROTHER NIKHIL), I AM that spoke about various issues like sperm donation, child abuse etc. however in SHAB everything misfires terribly.

Co-written with Merle Kroger, Onir fails to weave his characters and their plight into an absorbing narrative that had the potential to trigger a debate but unfortunately SHAB's bold theme gets a casual approach that fails to generate interest amongst the audience.

What could have been a powerful statement on sexuality, relationship, dream, ambition, desires, hypocrisy and the length a human can go to achieve his selfish urge turns into a half balked uninteresting encounter that doesn't go beyond a welcome hug.

Glaring loopholes like Mohan's attraction towards Raina and the reason for Sonal's attraction towards other men is not explained or the maker wants us to believe it or take it as it comes. Unwanted back stories (The French neighbor past) are added just to make it feel intense but it fails to work.

The Mohan & Sonal episode is the best from the lot but that also after the initial charm loses steam. However, Ashish Bisht, Raveena Tandon, Simon Frenay impress with their performance. Ashish Bisht in particular is successful in making the audience take a note of him.

Surprisingly, Onir's Delhi in SHAB appeared as a poor cousin of Mumbai (cafes, pubs at every place) which had a dark hangover of Madhur Bhandarkar's PAGE 3. If Onir had restricted himself to the Mohan Sonal episode keeping the gay fashion designer Rohan (Raj Suri) for an interesting twist, SHAB could have been a watchable and a better film.

 Shab Review Rating : 
1.5/5 stars
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