Alok Sivastava’s directorial effort ‘The Unsound’ a film in Hinglish (more English than Hindi) is endemically unsound. The narrative meanders along without getting a grip on the suggestive drama and the actors look like they’ve been put together for the sole purpose of posturing rather than enacting a defined role to justify their presence.
The story itself is off-track. The lead character Dev Oberoi (Shadab Khan) is a businessman on the verge of a divorce from his wife. They have a five-year-old daughter who has been relegated to a boarding school. Dev is quick to move on soon after the separation and hooks up with a waitress, Simran who works in a cafe.
Slowly it comes to light that Dev suffers from multiple organic psyhchotic disorder (a are mental illness) which renders him mercurial and completely unpredictable. His Doctor Shitij Saxena requests a second opinion from good friend Joanna (Anurita Jha) who in turn seeks international validation for the diagnoses and treatment from an expert by the name Dr. Alix.
Given that Dev is unpredictable he lands up at Dr Joanna’s doorstep one night only to be let in and subsequently permitted to ravage her person. It’s explained off as an aberration by Joanna to Shitij who she was all set to marry. Now to show up Dev as someone who wouldn’t hesitate to kill, the director-writer decide to have him kill one of Simran’s cafe customers who appears to be harassing her with unwanted calls to her cell phone.
And Dev even gets to make a move on yet another Doctor who appears to be welcoming him into her abode with an enthusiasm that would put a professional whore to shame. In fact the doctors in this film are portrayed as totally unethical and immoral – more intent on displaying their physical assets to ogle-worthy effect rather than establishing their credentials, if any, as professionals.
The writer- director, Alok Srivastava himself, wearing two hats, obviously had little idea of what doctors do and so preferred to portray them as one-dimensional characters with sex on their mind. The characters in the film are sketchily drawn and have little import in what transpires on screen. Dev supposedly has a history of loss and his unsound mind also concocts stories so we do not know whether he is a liar or telling the truth.
At no point is there any sympathy built-up to justify his actions or that of the other characters. So throughout the runtime you feel totally alienated, uninvolved and concurrently exasperated.
The cinematographer tries hard to instil a sense of purpose to this enterprise but it’s a lost cause all the way. Too insufferable to sit through!