Film: Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain
Cast: Sanjay Mishra, Anshuman Jha, Ekavali Khanna, Pankaj Tripathi, Shivani Raghuvanshi
Director: Harish Vyas
Rating: * * ½
A family drama masquerading as the new age adult romance, this NFDC (National Film Development Corporation of India) produced effort by first-time director Harish Vyas, reflects the changing dynamics of a long-standing relationship in progress. It’s a sort of ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ with a much more mature and effectively naturalised outlook. The film is set entirely in Varanasi and the locations understandably have a déjà vu feel to it, coming as it does after far more accomplished works like Masaan and Mukti Bhavan.
Yash (Sanjay Mishra) and Kiran Batra (Ekavali Khanna) have been married for several years now. Kiran, though a housewife, is well educated and her family is well off financially, while Yash is a mere clerk in the local Post office and feels disadvantaged by the imbalance in their respective upbringing. As a result, he is boorish and abrasive in his treatment of his wife. Their daughter Preeti (Shivani) is in love with a neighbour, Batti’s (Brijendra Kala) son, Jugnu (Anshuman Jha) but Yash is more interested in getting her married to a person of his choice. While Kiran is more inclined to allow the daughter her choice of spouse. This issue, in fact, triggers a rift between the husband and wife.
Aryan Saha’s scripting is understatedly light and thrifty, allowing for some tender, inveigling moments to creep in. The narrative spiel though doesn’t have a consistent enough tone or tempo. Farrokh Mistry’s lighting and camerawork is piquantly beckoning, but the lack of contextual depth in the telling is a little hard to overlook. The film begins in slow-burning dramatic fashion and after the turnaround becomes more facetious with a bit of slapstick and camp thrown-in for good measure. And it’s not altogether becoming. Though Sanjay Mishra and Ekavali Khanna are competent as the main leads here, it’s the supporting players including Shivani Raghuvanshi, Anshuman Jha, Brijendra Kala and a winning heartfelt cameo by Pankaj Tripathi, who capture our interest.