Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Time Out – Fledgling Concerns

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Cast: Chirag Malhotra, Pranay Pachauri, Kaamya Sharma

Director: Rikhil Bahadur

Rating: * * ½


Runtime: 98 mins

A decently played out drama about adolescence, sexuality and growing-up concerns in an upper class set-up where free thinking bohemianism is just a façade for  traditional conservatism and bigotry. And this is achieved through a story about two brothers Gaurav and Mihir. 14 year old Gaurav (Chirag Malhotra) is just becoming aware of the opposite sex while his older brother, Mihir (Pranay Pachauri), the star basketball player of the school and his ideal, shows all the signs of being involved with his steady girlfriend. And then the penny drops. Gaurav walks in on Mihir and his fellow player boyfriend in a compromising position and the relationship between the two brothers just goes up in a toss. Gaurav sulks around and his parents resort to traditional gimmicks to get their elder son back on acceptable track.

Though the story doesn’t develop well enough to provide thought-provoking moments, the sincerity and noble intentions of this enterprise is unmistakable. Rithik Bahadur handles his cast well and gets them to perform with some sense of ease. There’s not enough depth to the portrayal of sexuality related conflict though. A stray moment of poignancy arises out of their Mom’s search for answers. She types in “How to fix your gay kid” on google when Mihir reveals his sexual orientation and wishes to come out. She also spends the night comforting her younger son through his troubled times. The hypocrisy in the elitist household is laid bare and the new-age parenting methods ensured by the doting, friendly father is also questioned. But thereafter the development is haphazard. There’s no attempt made to see the issue through to culmination. The focus stays on the younger kid and contrives a rapprochement between the two brothers on the basketball court. And there’s no affect there!

Pranay Pachauri, as the sexually conflicted , loving older brother is first rate. He essays his role with sensitivity and gusto and provides this film with much needed conviction. Chirag’s role, though author-backed is not designed with conviction, so obviously he suffers in comparison. Even so he manages to add sensitivity and confusion to his portrayal. While the film attempts to be a coming-of-age saga it just doesn’t traverse the whole length of growth required for the same.