Friday, February 24, 2006

Mixed Doubles

Sunil: “Tumne Spiderman – 2 dekhne kyon gayi thi?
Malti: “because Avi loves it baba!
Sunil: “See??” [seriously expecting her to understand]
Malti: “See what?

Here’s a man who is completely convinced that his idea of swapping wives is as much a simple desire (and and act of “copying the west”) as his son wanting to watch Spiderman 2 and also that it’s entirely independent of his love for his wife. (It could definitely be argued that he assumes this naiveté to meet his need.)
Rajat Kapoor’s latest venture Mixed Doubles (after his film-noir debut Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One and the black comedy Raghu Romeo) is a largely enjoyable flick, very well written (with imaginative oddball scenarios) and supported by all-round good performances.
The film, which by and large works as a fine comedy, quite deftly explores the love relationship between a man and his wife married for around 10 years and the lackluster entity that sex has become in their lives. The first act of the film, in which the director introduces us to the family and the lack of zest in the mundane daily proceedings, is absolutely hilarious embellished with quirky dialogues (by Anurag Kashyap and the director himself).
Sunil Arora, the husband, in trying to bring back a fresh allure to his sex life, suggests something; which outrages Malti, his wife, to no end. He, by some crooked means (this part is totally unconvincing), has it his way; and the rest of the film is about how the couple handles the situation. As the movie proceeds towards a simple denouement (sans comic exaggerations), it succinctly examines the ramifications of such an idea in the lives of the couple, whose love for each other hasn't diminshed a bit nevertheless.
Ranvir Shorey is fantastic and exhibits superb comic timing (as one might have sensed even in the ads he has acted in; though am not able to recall any particular one) as the quintessential middle-class confused Casanova-wannabe and takes the top honours. Konkona Sensharma, all of 27 years or less, gets to play a variety of roles which nobody else in Hindi cinema could even think of. Needless to say, she has done extremely well here too playing somebody much elder to herself. Rest of them (Vinay Pathak going over-the-top in a hilarious sequence, a calm and clean Saurabh Shukla, Naseer in a very short cameo, Koel Purie and Rajat Kapoor himself) all play their parts very aptly.
The movie does go a little too oddball at times, like some characters behaving eccentrically, to achieve the desired comic effect (also achieved by showing the proceedings in fast-forward Chaplin-esque mode), but is delightfully funny nevertheless.
All in all, Rajat Kapoor remains a director, whose movies this blog will eagerly await for; just as it used to.
P.S.:- I also stumbled upon a blog on the film and later found out it’s the movie’s official blog. Only that it hasn’t got many sensible posts. The Film Diary available in the director's official site (a small part of which is available in the movie's official site) are really worth reading, though!