The voice of Onir's reason is not incumbent on conventions of Indian cinema. Rather, this courageous filmmaker forges ahead with much the same convictions that maneuvered his vision in that elegiac post-card from the edge of the conscience called MY BROTHER NIKHIL.
The film opens and closes in a pub where the first of the many passionate encounters between the restless violent and doomed characters looking for a place to rest their uncertain hearts, occur.
When after years abroad Nikhil (Suri) walks into the crowded place of pleasure his life changes. He meets the mercurial Anamika (Matondkar) who teases flirts and reduces Nikhil to a lifetime of slavery.
The passion underlining Nikhil's undying love for Anamika also purports to underline the theme's spectral content. But the swelling emotions don't always make it into the frames. We often feel rather than see the acutely pained quintet of characters reaching out to one another across an immense gulf of pride and hurt.
All the characters are in one way or another linked with one another. Even the men Nikhil and Rahul (Shergill) share complex, ambiguous relationships.
In one notable moment of tormented confession Nikhil tears off his shirt in front of the paraplegic Rahul and confesses he was raped in jail.
But the crime for which Nikhil went to jail is deflected to another even darker character, the spouse-beating Steve (Rehaan Engineer) whose heartbreakingly fragile wife Ira (Chawla) wants to leave him but can only be liberated in death. ("Till Death Do Us Part").
Guilt runs through the criss-cross of wounded relationships in this film of unstated recriminations.
Even the ostensibly free-willed Anamika opts for compassion (the crippled Rahul) over passion (the incarcerated Nikhil). She silently suffers Rahul's bitter taunts, just like Preity Zinta in Karan Johar's KABHIE ALVIDAA NA KEHNA, though the relationship here is done in far darker tones.