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Aug 21, 2011 10:10 AM 10735 Views





Murder episodes are not also easily forgotten by the public and media, especially the more gory ones. In this regard, the Neeraj Grover murder caseis held on the numero uno position. Not A Love Story, directed by Ram Gopal Varma is inspired from this ghastly incident that is still afresh in everyone’s minds thanks to the verdict that came up recently. The promo promised zany camera angles and lots and lots of blood. Well, that’s the film is about but there’s much more than that. And that’s where Not A Love Story succeeds. Also, the excellent execution by Ram Gopal Varma makes it an engrossing drama!

The story of the movie: Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill)lands up in Mumbai with the dream of becoming an actress. Her possessive boyfriend Robin (Deepak Dobriyal) is not content with Anusha’s decision of moving to Mumbai but yet, allows her to fulfill her dreams. In Mumbai, Anusha realizes it’s not easy to land up a promising role easily until she meets Ashish Bhatnagar (Ajay Gehi) who lends her a helping hand. Trouble strikes when Robin suddenly lands up in Anusha’s apartment one fine morning and finds Ashish naked! What follows shakes the entire country!

Let me burst 3 myths associated with Not A Love Story!

MYTH: It’s a Ram Gopal Varma film and hence avoidable!

FACT:It’s totally unjustified to generalize RGV films in this manner just because he gave handful of disasters. Which filmmaker hasn’t given flop films? And why are we overlooking the successful films churned by this maverick director? Shiva, Raat, Rangeela, Daud, Satya, Kaun, Mast, Jungle, Company, Bhoot, Sarkar, Contract, Rann and Rakht Charitra series were all directed by Ramu and needless to say, all were well-made films!

MYTH: We know every little detail about this incident and hence it’s better to give it a skip!

FACT: Almost 70% of the film is about the murder and circumstances that led to it. From Anusha coming to Mumbai, meeting Ashish, the murder, Robin chopping off the body, packing it in bags, the lovers disposing it off and pretending they know nothing about Ashish’s whereabouts…the film shows it all. Although you know what’s going to happen next, it’s a still to interesting to see it RGV style. Also, the pre-climaxand the finale is more of a courtroom drama that’s all the more interesting and in fact, unpredictable. RGV suddenly introduces a twist at this juncture which is enough to give you a jolt!

MYTH: The film is too gory, ‘bloody’ and gross and we don’t have a stomach to digest such scenes!

FACT:We all know the gruesome manner in which the victim was killed and his body chopped off in this episode. Ram Gopal Varma shows it all but in a neat and aesthetic manner. There’s lot of bloodshed in the film but it’s not overdone. In fact, you’ll be stunned by the way Ram Gopal Varma smartly executed the scenes. Only an expert filmmaker could have succeeded in doing so. Hats off!

The flick is just 100 minutes long and moves at a quick pace. RGV’s major success is that he doesn’t take sides and remains non-judgmental. The ‘lovers’ were victims of circumstances (even treachery) but yet there’s no sympathy for them either. The flick has an open ending and this was the best decision Ram Gopal Varma could have opted for. And not to forget, the final scene is simply terrific!

Any blemishes? Sadly yes. One wished the interrogation scenes would have had more footage and Anusha would not have confessed so early and easily. At the same time, the commencing scenes (before Ashish enters the narrative) were not that impressive.

Not A Love Story boasts of some topnotch performances. Mahie Gill, the leading performer, is simply exceptional. It’s always good to see female getting away with most of the screen presence than her male counterparts! Watch out for her during her confession in the climax and the scene where she shuts her ears being unable to bear the chopping…she’s amazing! After Dev D and Gulaal, here’s one more excellent performance from the talented actress!

Deepak Dobriyal perfectly played the role of the obsessive lover. In fact, in many of the scenes, it’s Deepak who takes away the cake. Although he has always performed exceedingly well in all his films till date, this has to be one of his most memorable performances! Ajay Gehi was terrific and it’s good to see that this actor working with topshot directors like Vishal Bhardwaj (Maqbool), Mani Ratnam (Raavan) and now RGV!

Zakir Hussain was flawless as the sarcastic investigating officer. The two lawyers, Darshan Jariwala and Ganesh Yadav, leave a huge mark. Late Rasika Joshi(Ashish’s mother) excels in her minute role. Mahesh Thakur and the actors who played Mahie’s friends – Neil Bhoopalam, Prabhleen Sandhu, Richa Ghosh and Prashant play their part well.

Not A Love Story in a way is a trend-setting film as its not shot on a professional over-sized film camera but on, believe it or not, 5D DSLR Camera! These cameras don’t require tons of film cans but stores everything on a reusable memory card! What’s more, it saves cost too. Surprisingly, a supermarket sequence (shot inside HyperCity) was filmed on IPhone 4! Yes, you read it right! With such small cameras in use, RGV used it to full advantage to come up with unusual and zany camera movements which he so loves. And it’s all done creatively, giving a whole new movie experience!

Dwarak Warrier’s sound design is simply outstanding. Most impressive is the haunting manner in which the doorbell rings and in a way, vibrates! Sandeep Chowta’s background score was horrifying at places. Rohit G Banawlikar’s story and screenplay was intriguing and crisp.

Ram Gopal Varma’s direction was terrific. The camerawork and style of filmmaking reminds one of other recent digital films like Love Sex Aur Dhokha, Dhobi Ghat and Ragini MMS but the direction stands out from the rest. RGV doesn’t waste any time (especially in the initial scenes) and the film jumps from one scene to another in a rapid pace. And most importantly, most appreciating is the fact that he provides a balanced viewpoint. This is easily another feather in RGV’s cap and I wish he comes up with many more interesting films!

Some of the best scenes:

  1. Mahie comes across a lecherous filmmaker

  2. The song Rangeela Re and Pal

  3. Anusha meets Ashish for the first time

  4. Ashish fools Anusha

  5. Ashish in Anusha’s flat

  6. The murder

  7. Anusha in the supermarket

  8. Robin chops the body

  9. The intermission point

  10. Body is burnt

  11. Anusha and friends at the police station

  12. Anusha confesses

  13. Robin’s confession

  14. Anusha meets her lawyer

  15. The climax

On the whole, Not A Love Story is an well-executed crime drama that engrosses in spite of viewers knowing what’s gonna happen next. What’s more, there’s a twist towards the finale too! Shot on real locations (the same building where the murder took place in real life) using low cost cameras, the film is a must watch for amateur filmmakers and students of cinema. As for the rest, go for it for some hatke stuff!

My rating- ½

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Not A Love Story