Film: Milan Talkies
Cast: Ali Fazal, Shraddha Srinath, Ashutosh Rana, Reecha Sinha, Sanjay Mishra, Sikandar Kher, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shankar Yadav, Sudeep Sarangi, Jay Patel
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Rating: * * ½
Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Milan Talkies is very much a filmy love story that works in fits and spurts – but the downtime is a little too long to amount to much. At 140 mins duration, this film’s narrative feels the excruciating pain of a lack of guile – replete as it is with distinctly jaded stereotypical grandstanding and caste-religion clashes.
Held together by sound performances of its many actors, this film jocularly meanders along through a romance riven with volatility and strife. Scripted by Dhulia and Kamal Pandey, the film attempts to be both humorous and dramatic and in the process ends up all jumbled up.
Much of the energy in the film comes from its lead actors. Ali Fazal as the wannabe movie director Aniruddh Sharma aka Annu and debutante Shradha Srinath as Maithali, a priest’s daughter who faces the threat of being forcibly hitched to a boy of her father’s choice once she passes her final college exam (for which her father happens to seek Annu’s help).
As the title suggests, this film revolves around a single-screen movie theatre where an ageing projectionist (Sanjay Mishra) plays Cupid to Annu and his beloved, Maithali. The film tries to portray the clash between ages in satirical jousts but fails to make it meaningful enough. While it’s assertion of the local dialect, effusiveness of language and contrary positioning, is unerring, there’s not much depth to this telling. We’ve seen it all before and the light comic approach as a panacea to all ills only makes it seem ridiculous!