MUMBAI: With shortage of original titles coupled with dearth of imagination, the new trend is to pick up a telephone list or some social media list, and you have a name for your film. This week we have this film called Amit Sahni Ki List. Your protagonist need not be a folk hero or a war hero, he could be just another dude you see stuck in traffic in the car next to you. Now, do you really care if he has a story to tell? He knows you don’t and, hence, most of the time he talks to himself, telling his story to himself!
Virr Das (notice the added R to the name? There seems to be a misgiving about numerology making up for poor content) is an IIM Ahmedabad alumni. He shares accommodation with a friend, Kavi Shastri, away from his parents. His mother converses only in net lingo while his father is always immersed in newspapers.
Virr has a steady job, a car and just about everything a young man could want, but his mother thinks it is time he got married and settled down. While Virr thinks that the girls suggested by his mother are far too traditional he has already prepared a list of merits he seeks in a girl to before he agrees to marry her.
It all starts with a girlfriend not letting him pass her door and then dumping him for another man already inside her flat. Looking at that girl, one does not see anything in her that is revealed in Virr’s list as the film unwinds. He probably made the list after him being unceremoniously dumped.
Virr has to meet a girl called Vega Tamotia, which his mother has suggested. The meeting point is Leopold Cafe in South Mumbai .The side of Vega he is exposed to is that of a geek, bespectacled reading a book, her legs folded up on the restaurant chair. But soon Virr sees another side of Vega—a violin playing performer at a pub—and then another: a bungee-jumping sports girl. Drawn towards her he convinces himself that opposites attract.
The duo then gets engaged with both families joining in the celebrations. But, as things would have it, soon after the engagement, Virr meets another IIM graduate, Aniita Nair, who is a page 3-type girl and a business heir in a corporate house. Point by point, she conforms to all things on Virr’s list. Love blooms again, on both sides. But one has to wait and watch whether this love story will triumph.
The film has a limited star cast with nil following, and the director’s flashback to present narration, usually in first person, makes watching it a tedious affair. While the music is passable, the film has an interesting piece of violin recital which has been beautifully choreographed. Dialogues fail to convey a sense of humour. Virr Das is a consistent actor and does not change expressions whatever the situation. Anindita is fair. Tamotia is natural while Kavi as Virr’s roommate makes his presence felt.
Amit Sahni Ki List will remain limited to programme listings on pages of tabloids.
Producers: Tina Nagpaul, Kavita Kulkarni, Sujata Vemuri.
Director: Ajay Bhuyan.
Cast: Virr Das, Vega Tamotia, Kavi Shastri, Anindita Naya.
‘Pizza 3-D’… Puts you off Pizza!
Pizza 3D was made originally in Tamil, dubbed in Telugu and then remade in Bengali and Kannada before it was adapted in Hindi. Not having seen the other versions, you wonder why there were so many remakes after watching the Hindi version. It just does not add up. Pizza pretends to be a horror film all along but turns out to be a suspense thriller. Either way, the question still remains: Why so many remakes, especially, the Hindi one?
Akshay Oberoi is a pizza delivery boy married to an aspiring horror story writer, Parvathy Omanakuttan. The latter is pregnant which leads to a small but totally irrelevant dramatic scene between the couple which has nothing to do with the rest of the film. The maker is whiling away the first 20 minutes or so just to add some unnecessary length!
Akshay’s wife is an orphan. Her parents have died in an accident years back. The only relevance is that they are broke, managing to survive out of her parents’ accident insurance. In short, they need money: and lots of it.
Akshay works for a Pizza joint named Slices. It is never shown to have any in-house clients (except towards the end), has one pizza chef and just two waiters who double up as delivery men!! And, to add to that, the boss, Rakesh Sharma, is a crooked man indulging in shady deals for one ‘Anna’. Bhai is passé, Anna is the new identity for the underworld!
Sharma treats his staff well but has his own problems at home. His wife is pregnant but possessed by a ghost; probably in the very womb she is carrying her child. Akshay, on an errand to deliver a box of chocolates to Sharma’s house bears the brunt of the boss’s wife and the ghost possessing her. Still, all that is happening on the screen is irrelevant and as Parvathy once says ‘Sama Bandhana’ as in creating an atmosphere! Creating an atmosphere of what is the question because nothing interesting ever follows.
Finally, the real story begins. Akshay gets an order to deliver a pizza. But, the place he has come to deliver the pizza to is a bungalow which has a history. Four years back the owner of the bungalow had axed his pregnant wife to death because he suspected her of committing adultery. The family may have died but the bungalow is now haunted by their hurt and harassed ghosts who lock Akshay in the bungalow and start tormenting him. They don’t plan to kill him so what is the whole exercise about? Turns out that camouflaged under the guise of a horror story, this is actually a suspense film about a perfect heist. Just to add to the message that crime does not pay, the makers go and spoil things by giving it a horror touch again before wrapping up.
Akshay Oberoi is a comparatively new face in films and Pizza is mainly his film with little participation from others. Akshay is satisfactory playing the victim of haunted house. Parvathy is okay. Rajesh Sharma is good as usual. Direction is average with an overdrive with the 3-D medium.
Pizza 3-D has no box office prospects.
Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Bijoy Nambiar.
Director: Akshay Akkineni.
Cast: Akshay Oberoi, Parvathy Omanakuttan, Dipannita Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, Arunoday Singh.