Friday, August 19, 2011

Not a Love Story Movie Review-Mahie Gill and Deepak Dobriyal Impress

Not a Love Story, as everyone knows by now, is based on the gruesome murder of TV executive producer Neeraj Grover by Emile Jerome and his fiancé-girlfriend Maria Susariaj. Though Ramu has said that his movie is fictional and has nothing to do with the real happenings, he recently turned around and said that he made Not a Love Story on the basic premise of how the couple would make love in the same room with a dead body near by. So yes, it is his take on the infamous incident that happened three years ago in Dheeraj Solitaire Building, Malad(May 7th 2008)

Story of Not a Love Story
The movie is set in Dheeraj Solitaire Building, the same one where Maria had stayed and the spot of the actual homicide. But in the film, the protagonist is not a South Indian actress but a North Indian (Punjabi ) one called Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill) with starry ambitions. Though she does not respond to casting couch offers directly, she befriends a guy (Ajay Gehl) who gives her a break. In due course, they come close and one night after party, she invites him to spend time with him, so that he could go straight to work the next morning . At night, Anusha chooses to ignore her boyfriend’ call as she listens to a sob story by this new guy. They end up getting intimate and spending the night together.

The possessive boyfriend Robin Fernandez (Deepak Dobriyal) lands up at his girl’s home and is shocked to see a man in the buff sleeping on her bed. Anusha in a state of panic, says that he had forced himself on her. The men have a scuffle and an enraged Robin shoves a knife in Ajay’s stomach. As the TV executive  lays dead, the couple wonder what could be done. Anusha breaks down and cries heavily, while Robin tells her to go to Hyperciti Mall and get a knife to cut the body and dispose it off. Akin to the real incident, Robin cuts the body into several pieces and disposes them in bags, which they carry to a jungle near Dahisar and set  afire.

Robin leaves his fiancĂ©  by telling her to keep  mum and not to leave any room for suspicion to anyone.. But Anusha is not able to maintain her composure when the police starts interrogating; she finally she breaks down and says the truth. The two are arrested, the law takes it course with both the lawyers pitting the two lovers against each other. During one of the trial sessions, a broken Anusha says that she wants to see her boyfriend just one time. While they meet under police superivision, Anusha tells him that she had an affair with Ajay. A scornful looking Robin looks at her directly and lip-locks her in full public view.

Plus points of Not a Love Story

1. Ramu manages to stir up the fear quotient and thrills without going the violent way. There is not much gore but yet there are tense moments, some of them horrific as well. In fact, if you had not known the Maria Susairaj case, you’d have felt that there was going to be something spooky in it.
2. The movie is technically sound . The zany camera movements (something that you get habituated to), the camera work shot in natural light, Sandeep Chowta’s stunning background score, the haunting twist to the Rangeela Re track, slick editing and solid screenplay make the movie a super watch.
3. Mind blowing performances by Mahie Gill, Deepak Dobriyal and Ajay Gehl

Minus Points of Not A Love Story

1. The second half is slightly slower compared to the first one and a couple of scenes with Mahie getting spooked out, thinking that Ajay is still in the room, reduces the thrill aspect. The director tends to up the horror quotient when it was not really required
2. Ram Gopal Varma uses the camera to move through every mound, nook and cranny of Mahie Gill’s anatomy. The way it zooms in and out of her posterior and peek down her blouse when she does the most routine of things can make some of us feel uncomfortable especially if we are watching it with someone who could be offended or influenced. Also at times, the voyeur camera exploits Mahie Gill, inexplicably moving up her dress to show the color of her under garments in a scene when she is traumatized and near depressed; this is something that is both irrelevant and unjustified.

Performances in Not a Love Story

One of the biggest reasons for watching Not a Love Story is the performance factor. Deepak Dobriyal and Mahie Gill vie for top honors. Deepak bears a maniac look and he communicates with his eyes so brilliantly that you believe that there could have been no one better to do that role other than this talented actor. Likewise for certain Mahie Gill, who had done this complex role  exceedingly well. Be in a glam role in the first half or a terrified, de-glam avatar in the second half, Mahie impresses in equal measure. They both deserve a huge round of applause for whipping up some serious chemistry with their histrionics.

The others are also brilliant in their minor roles. Ajay Gehl is fantastic in a brief role, Zakir Hussain has pitched in just another ‘wow’ performance. The others Darshan Jariwala, Neil Bhoopalam, Ganesh Yadav and late Rasika Joshi make an impact in their own roles.

Best scenes in Not a Love Story

1. The casting couch scene- Mahie Gill walking out of the office of an ad director who ask her to compromise
2. Mahie Gill breaking down after the murder
3. Deepak Dobriyal’s mixed feelings; confusion and cool demeanor as he thinks about what to do with the body
4. The police interrogation scene involving Mahie Gill
5. The last scene, when Mahie Gill tells Deepak Dobriyal about her affair with the TV producer

Not a Love Story is among Ram Gopal Varma’s best works. It may not be exactly true-to-life but he has managed to translate his version of the story brilliantly.


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