Film: Bypass Road
Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Adah Sharma, Sudhanshu Pandey, Shama Sikander, Gul Panag, Rajit Kapoor, Manish Chaudhary, Taher Shabbir
Director: Naman Nitin Mukesh
Rating: * *
This film has story, dialogues and script credited to Neil and direction to Naman, the younger brother who purportedly honed his thriller skills in America. Singer Neil Nitin Mukesh, of ‘So Gaya Aasman’ fame, also reissues his hit song to lend nostalgia to this nepotism enhancing family production.
While the idea behind this whodunit is intriguing enough, neither the writing, the direction nor the acting supports the development of tension or interest here. So what we get is a bunch of no-hopers wanting to resurrect their dying careers with a substandard product in a genre that they hope will buy them Box-office good times. The fact that Neil has of late earned a respectable name as villain (as ironic as that sounds) in Southern films is of zero importance to a Bollywood audience who would rather buy into a masala franchise than settle for an overwrought, rather ridiculous and alienating thriller.
Much of the story elements and subplots play out impracticably. Vikram (Neil) a fashion designer of repute has a one-night stand with top model Sara Braganza (Shama Sikander) who isn’t quite willing to give him up to his real love, a fashion intern (a one note Adah Sharma). Sara commits suicide or has she been bumped off? The cop (Manish Chaudhary) would rather keep that a secret while the pop-up characters like Pranav Kapoor (Rajit Kapoor), Romzy/Romila (a rather fraught Gul Panag), Narang (Sudhanshu Pandey), Sara’s fiancé Jimmy (Taher Shabbir, the only distinctive presence here) and a man Friday, walk in and out as culprits, accomplices and saviors.
The masked slasher who relentlessly pursues a paraplegic Vikram all through his glass house in Alibaug should have been duly rewarded for a never-say-die attitude that shows itself in his ‘undying’ efforts to score a kill. Neil the writer, instead, envisages a rather overdone climax in which the audience is expected to ‘wah-wah’Vikram’s ingenuity. Hopefully, the audience will be cleverer by half at least!