There was ample anticipation for this one. Dev Benegal’s tie up with Abhay Deol, or Abhay Deol’s tie up with Dev Benegal—depending on which side of the fence you’re on. But as much as the opening shot might grab you, the scene that unfolds thereafter is begging for better actors, a better script and better timing. There’s not much beyond the cinematography or the music in those opening minutes of the movie, and that seems to set a precedent for the rest of it.
The acting by the four main characters, who, barring the Deol, make their appearances at odd moments, is shoddier than you'd expect. Perhaps thanks to a weak script that bares its naivety with lines that display a tea-stall boy’s unlikely knowledge of Starbucks and Abhay Deol’s trysts with weeds as makeshift toilet paper. Satish Kaushik shines, for the majority of this story, despite everything else working against him.
There’s a deeper story that the director tries to capture, unsuccessfully, as he, and we, get lost in surrealism, minimalism and the marketing of manhood.
And one more thing: I have come to believe that we’ve all been fooled into thinking Abhay Deol’s a good actor—which is not to say he’s to blame, perhaps he’s been fooled just like we were. But some director, somewhere, handed him a script that demanded he act like himself. And he did. And he’s a fairly interesting chap. And we thought, “Wow, he’s really underplaying this role! Subtlety is so refreshing in popular Indian cinema.” But that’s just Abhay Deol…on a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon.
Still, for all its flaws, I didn't feel like I'd just wasted 90-odd minutes of my life. Though I could've spent it better, I'm sure.