Film: Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai?

Cast: Manav Kaul, Nandita Das, Saurabh Shukla, Kishore Kadam

Director: Soumitra Ranade

Rating: * *

Soumitra Ranade’s contemporary take, inspired by Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s original 1980 cult classic may carry the same title but alas it doesn’t have the depth or the dimension to hit all the right notes and make it meaningful. Other than the fact that the titular character is yet another angry young man, as in Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s original cult classic, there is not much other similarity to the Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil starrer.

In the 80’s it was quite acceptable that Albert Pinto, a middle class idealist could be disillusioned with the world and not be able to come to terms with that disillusionment. Time was on his side. Today though, that sort of premise doesn’t hold good. Even though the young people of today may be discontent they don’t have the luxury to break away from the crippling monotony of surviving.

The original film was potent and still is on repeated viewing. This one though is rather equable and seems contrived. The politics of it gets a status update, with modern oppressors egging Pinto on to an explosion. But it’s neither heartfelt nor organic. After he breaks away from his fiancé Stella (Nandita Das) he goes off into a hallucinatory spiel of memories while on a road trip to Goa with a hoodlum (Saurabh Shukla). Kaul’s performance lacks the focus and energy needed to give Pinto the edge required to turn him into a human volcano. As a result there are no eruptions – just tepid musings meant to generate insight as to his true character. This is largely a mediocre reboot that never really understands its characters nor gains insight into what plagues them.

The narrative is punctuated with flashbacks, diffusing the coherence to a point of indifference. His girlfriend Stella (Nandita Das) files a police report and Inspector Pramod Naik (Kishor Kadam) investigates trying to piece together the story behind Albert’s inexplicable disappearance. The representation of Pinto’s psychological state is also done in piece-meal fashion (he sees Stella in every woman he encounters along the path to self-destruction). The building fury of a man on the brink of insanity doesn’t come through with any potency here. Neither the scripting nor the performances build up to that affect. This drama feels entirely fabricated and terribly flaccid!

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