Cast: Rajat Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, Purab Kohli, Koel Purie, Tara Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Manu Rishi, Rasika Dugal
Director: Sharat Katariya
Sharat Katariya finds his inspiration in William Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and tries his best to adapt it to suit the Indian scenario and mindset. He weaves a tale of love, desires and forbidden fantasies around a magic love potion that keeps four parallel stories glued together.
The 'not so shining' Mumbai forms the backdrop of the story where Ghalib (Rajat Kapoor) lives with his wife Roshni (Tisca Chopra). He sells 'performance' enhancing drugs and doubts his wife of having extra marital affairs, Roshni's popularity in the vicinity fans his imagination to cross all boundaries.
Shweta (Tara Sharma) loves Peter (Neil Bhoopalam) who is not man enough to fight for her but is very sweet and innocent. Neel (Purab) and Minnie (Koel Purie) are long time buddies and are much more than 'just friends', but lately Neel has found a way to get hitched to his crush Shweta.
The time has come when Shweta's family is all set to get her married to Neel but events take an unexpected turn when Ghalib arrives with a mysterious love potion to her marriage.
Sharat Katariya casts suave Rajat Kapoor as a small time vendor, a move that could have backfired, but Kapoor tones down his mannerism to suit the character. His diction is still sophisticated but the purity of emotions that he manages to bring out sails him through. His interjections during the family gatherings are the liveliest moments of the film. The way he reacts to his neighbour Iffat's jibes is hilarious.
Tisca Chopra gets ample screen space to showcase the agony of a misjudged wife and her happy conversations with salivating neighbours would bring a smile to your face.
Katariya has gone for a story that had the potential of going wayward but somehow he manages to not digress from the theme. There are sequences where the tempo seems to be going down but the multi layered structure of the story comes to his rescue. His biggest achievement is in handling at least five primary characters and giving them enough time to unfold.
The basic storyline is simple and predictable to some extent but the plots keep the audience interested because of their leaning towards the light hearted comic sequences. A crazy jungle ride in the end is long but the theatrical movements by the actors save the day. Dimly lit scenes try to put forth the essence of the ambiguous mindsets of the characters but sometimes they seem stretched.
The chemistry between Tara Sharma and Koel Purie is remarkable, their love-hate relationship and Koel's desperation to get even with the circumstances are the highlights of the second half.
Purab Kohli does what was expected from him i.e. playing the upper middle class happy go lucky guy. His dialogue delivery and ability to do swift mood transitions emerge as his acting assets. His guiltless relationship with Minnie (Koel) doesn't make him look cruel or immoral, and thus the credit should be given to him.
Tara Sharma's already established image does her a favour, all she needed to do was to recall her 'Ghosla Ka Ghosla' act. She is funny and convincing.
The screenplay is not devoid of flaws. Though Chand (Manu Rishi) and Brijendra Kala try to give a meaning to the Ramlila part but it also takes away the audience's attention. However, the sequence when Kala and Rishi fight over some old incident is one of the funniest of the film. Probably the director kept these characters to justify the story's base, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Overall, '10 ml Love' is brisk, funny and refreshing. The film's pace and witty humour have the ability to grip you for close to two hours. A very good watch this weekend.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.