Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Ranvir Shorey, Manu Rishi, Pradhuman Singh, Neha Bhasin.
Director: Rakesh Mehta.
Abundance of good actors can make a director confused about giving the proper space and time to every character. Director Rakesh Mehta's 'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' suffers from the same problem.
The film uses parallel cutting to tell four stories simultaneously. Characters become the tools to introduce the complexities of the narrative. First story features Salman (Kay Kay Menon), a full of vengeance son of a slain underworld don. Despite seeking revenge at any cost, Salman believes in meaningful conversation, at least he says so towards the climax. The actor tries a lot to convey the claustrophobic feeling of a helpless and weak angry man, but what becomes visible on the screen is a mere revenge story. The writer has taken care of giving the back story of Salman's relationship with his father and has also introduced his own relationship with his step son, but the whole set up fails to convey the inner conflict he is going through. It is understandable that he wants to avenge his innocent mother's murder, but why was he ignoring his own family's safety, especially when everybody Salman turns to wants him to negotiate with the situation. The story doesn't showcase his cynical attitude which was needed for such a character.
Amol Ganguly (Ranvir Shorey) is a London returned jilted lover who seeks some solace in the company of his death obsessed friend Ajoy Ghosh (Pradhuman Singh). However, the friend has a very different effect on Amol who is convinced to commit suicide now.
Gold medallist ACP Rajveer Singh Chautala (Manu Rishi) has been transferred to Mumbai because he refuses to bow down to a minister. The local police department hasn't accepted him yet, and he has been given the charge to track down four Nigerian drug paddlers. All this is not easy for him because the police department has threatened Chautala to relieve from the job in case of failure.
Last sub-story features Dolly Saluja (Neha Bhasin) who wants to become a film heroine at any cost. The girl uses all sorts of tricks before giving up to the unfavourable circumstances.
Destiny brings all the characters to one place whose lives have been changed during the course of just 24 hours in a city known for its uncaring attitude (story begins with a similar voiceover).
The screenplay of 'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' couldn't salvage for the damage done by weak character sketches. Ranvir Shorey's role is badly written. He returns to India only to be left with a broken heart but how can a man who believes in 'karma' (he is shown as a hard working waiter) change into a ruthless murderer overnight. He is shown as a man with suicidal tendencies who stands up against the criminals, but his motives remain vague till the end because the climax suggests a clear cut deviation in his thought process. Ranvir Shorey shows glimpses of his 'Traffic Signal' act, but his long conversations with Pradhuman Singh are lacklustre and puzzling. Pradhuman, the 'Tere Bin Laden' actor, is in an entirely new avatar and struggles hard to present his character as a profound escapist but the whole business of being a druggist, hard rock fan fails to follow one single path.
However, Pradhuman Singh is the man who really excels in the climax. Rakesh Mehta puts the audience's imagination on fire by catching perplexing expressions on Singh's face in the end.
Manu Rishi is fast emerging as a subtle actor. His act of a mother fearing cop hogs the limelight. He is the pick of the lot, but the director's confusion persists with his character too. A senior officer is normally not treated so lightly in real life, further an officer who is expected to accomplish an important mission, shouldn't be so unfavoured by his department.
Neha Bhasin appears under pressure in most of the scenes. Her extended sequence with Neeraj Vora looks absolutely manufactured and doesn't tickle any funny bone. The good thing is that she realises her limitations and thus lets other actors to guide the scene.
'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' is slow but that's not the prime concern. It doesn't convey anything which was expected from a film with four characters carrying four separate notions. An amalgamation of emotions, 'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' lacks the punch, and one can find it tough to look at the screen throughout the film. Good actors are wasted due to unimaginative writing.
Songs are easily forgettable, so is the editing. In fact, repetition of shots gives a jarring feeling. The camera department shows promise in a couple of shots, especially in the introduction sequence of Kay Kay, where the camera frames him as someone pitted against the sea.
'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' lacks a well thought out treatment which allows good actors to come up with wayward acting.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5.