Monday, December 10, 2007

[Original]: Review of Manorama - Six Feet Under

Summary: Slow movie, but liked it.
Cast : Abhay Deol, Raima Sen, Gul Panag, Sarika, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Director: Navdeep Singh

Satyaveer or SV (Abhay Deol) is a government engineer leading a drab and dreary existence in a small town in Rajasthan. He has a nagging wife (Gul Panag) who is frustrated by his lack
of success. Abhay's real passion is writing detective fiction. He writes a novel called Manorama that flops badly.

A mysterious lady (Sarika) with the same name as the novel comes into his life. She asks him to spy on her husband, a local and powerful politician (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). From
then on his life gets caught into a maze of mysteries - big and small.

Sarika gets murdered. Then it turns out that Sarika is not the politician's wife. The politician has an illegitimate daughter who is demanding that he recognize her. She and her boyfriend (the politician's personal doctor) are brutally murdered. Abhay is threatened by a couple of goons working for Kulbhushan for some photographs.
A cop (Vinay Pathak) who is Abhay's brother-in-law, is his only source of help, and even he can't do much as the politician is powerful.

Raima Sen is the murdered daughter's room mate. She and Abhay are subject to many twists and turns as the story unfolds.

The obvious questions -
1. Who was Sarika? Why was she murdered?
2. What is the link between the murders of Sarika and that of the illegitimate daughter?
3. What is in the photos?

The suspense is good but not outstanding - all questions are reasonably guessable while watching the movie. But what I liked was the simplicity and realism of the movie. Right down to Abhay's unpolished shoes, there has been a conscious effort to make sure everything is as real as possible. The dry and arid desert was used as a very good metaphor for Abhay's dull

The film pays attention to the relationships between Abhay and different characters - Gul, Raima and Vinay. No songs. It is more like an art film than the usual fare.

Vinay Pathak has some of the best lines, but still has too small a role to make a big impact. Raima Sen is good.
Gul Panag did the nagging act well.
Kulbhushan - as good as ever.
Sarika - competent (but again has a pretty small role).

Abhay Deol is the main character and he does justice to the role. I had not liked him in some of
his earlier performances, but now he has moved to the +ve side for me.

Negative points:
1. Slow pace.
2. Gaps in writing as far as scenes or continuity is concerned.

Overall, worth a watch.

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