Film: Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz
Cast: Geetanjali Thapa, Zain Khan Durrani, Shray Rai Tiwari, Mona Amebgaonkar, Saheb Bhattacharjee, Sourav Das, Debopriya, Saheb Agarwal, Soumya Mukherjee
Rating: * * *
The two primary characters here prefer to live their lives in the thrill of WhatsApp clouds. The world today may largely consist of youngsters who ping, like, tweet, share and comment their way into each other’s hearts but will such relationships really hold strong once the anonymity of a digital screen vanishes. Onir’s latest love story examines this very phenomenon- love in the time of the mobile app where two strangers connect over a misdial and WhatsApp their way into each other’s hearts while continuing to be safely hidden behind digital screens. But what price such love where the two know little about each other – other than what they choose to expose on their social media profiles.
Kolkata girl Archana (Geetanjali Thapa) doesn’t have a profile pic on social media (her Leucoderma spots might explain that), yet goes for blind dates on Tinder with those like her. She is a huge fan of RJ Alfaaz (Zain Khan Durrani). A reticent guy, Alfaaz aka Abhimanyu, is caught up in his own past though. Archana’s missed call leads to the two bonding over WhatsApp messages. To her, he is Mr Ittefaq – unaware that he is the same RJ who drives her emotions haywire. Constant messaging leads to digital intimacy but is this relationship destined to go any further is what we would all like to know?
Onir, of course, takes us down the garden path, giving us a dekho at what transpires between the two. He presents Kolkata in all its architectural and cultural glory while keeping the two principal characters rooted to their complexes as they explore the flighty world of social media romance. While the tempo is a bit slow, the characters and their many foibles make for interesting enough bait. The performance by Geetanjali Thapa and Zain Khan Durrani are what makes this engagement much more meaningful though.
Both artists wear their vulnerabilities on their sleeve and allow for greater empathy from the audience watching them. Onir’s sensitivity also adds magical moments to the dramatics here. Abhishek Chatterjee’s script obviously knows what it’s talking about- spreading love, good cheer and serendipity in abundance while the cinematographer works out a colour palette that makes the romance within all the more becoming. A heartfelt valentine this!