Not a love story review

Kunal Guha

Cast: Deepak Dobriyal, Ajay Gehi, Zakir Hussain, Mahie Gill, Mahie Gill's legs, Mahie Gill's freckles, a goldfish, a fishy perverted neighbour etc

Directed by Ram Gopal Varma

Rating: Gruesome

One of the biggest challenges in filming a real life story is that it has already been told. So, how do you make it exciting, unpredictable or entertaining? Also can you really do any of these things without altering the original story? RGV's 'Not a love story' takes reality, slices it into tiny pieces and serves it with bloody sauce. Based on Maria Susairaj and her graphic encounters, this film provides enough visual distractions to have your jaws touching your feet through most of its 105-minute runtime.

For those who haven't bothered to follow the Neeraj Grover case, here's a quick download. The film is about Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill), an every-girl from small-town India who migrates to Mumbai, hopeful of cutting it into big-bad-Bollywood. In doing so, she leaves behind her obsessively possessive boyfriend, Robin Fernandes (Deepak Dobriyal). After several auditions, rejections, a few casting couch-surfing scenes, a million phone calls from Robin, Anusha finally bags a film. The one to offer her a lucky break, is Ashish Bhatnagar (Ajay Gehi), the only director in town who doesn't want a friend with benefits and actually appreciates true talent. But then true talent Anusha is not and neither does Bhatnagar want less than a sleepover.

'Kahani mein twist' happens when Robin lands up at Anusha's, unaware of Ashish's unclothed presence. Result: chop, chop, slash, slice, chop. Robin's masterplan: discard Ashish's remains in 'chota pieces' packed neatly in many plastic bags and later burn it near the outskirts of the city. After Robin returns home, the remaining cast realises Ashish's absence, a police investigation follows and Anusha finally gives in to the interrogation.

One singular aspect of this crime of passion is that it has been fashionably shot from up-skirt, down-blouse and other deliciously delirious camera angles. In fact, often the camera just does a merry-go-round around the characters, which along with terrifying sound effects could leave you puking for (no) more. And when the camera is not in motion, it is zooming into close-shots that are too close from comfort. From Mahie's freckles to the ceiling fan, even the lord isn't spared as we almost enter the trunk of Lord Ganesha in one scene. Despite the fact that these are RGV's signature flourishes, nothing prepares you enough.

To Mahie's credit, she does a fair job of personifying anguish but her camera angles mostly make you feel like her bra. Deepak Dobriyal delivers a few expressions of rage which are rinsed and repeated throughout the film with consistent enthusiasm. The post-production team deserves a special mention as they have made this half-eaten 'medu vada' seem like creamy doughnut, exercising some lesser-used tricks from the book. While the music and background score are unmentionable, the lyrics literally state the contemporary scene.

You go into the movie hall knowing this is not a love story. You come out learning it's not a lot of things. But if you have a severe appetite for watching people getting severed, this would surely humour your kinky fantasy.

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Here are a few stills from the making of the film: