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MouthShut Score

65%
3.17 

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Aug 19, 2003 06:24 AM 3143 Views
(Updated Aug 20, 2003 12:58 AM)

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You see the name 'Ram Gopal Varma' in the credits, and you know you can expect some refreshing and meaningful cinema. I saw Road a few months ago, and even though it wasn't the most original or complete movie I've seen, it's definitely something new for Bollywood. Here's why...


The story - The story is pretty simple: a couple elopes in order to get married, but is faced with unforeseen circumstances when Aravind(Vivek Oberoi), with some hesitation from Laxmi(Antara Mali) decides to help out a fellow traveler(Babu- Manoj Bajpai) by giving him a lift to his destination. Almost as soon as Babu gets into the car with the two, the viewer senses trouble immediately: Babu insisits on smoking even after repeated requests to stop, makes them stop for him to eat, and hits on Laxmi (the last straw, of course!) When Arvind confronts him, Babu suddenly takes out his gun. The rest of the movie revolves around Arvind trying to rescue Laxmi from Babu. Like I mentioned before, nothing pathbreaking in terms of story, but what makes Road special is the director's characterization of the three central characters and the movie's ultra modern and genuinely trendy look. (unlike the 'Johar-Chopra-Bharjatya' modern that usually ends with shooting their one thousand songs in foreign locales)


The characters - To me, the story really unravels in the minds of the three characters. Arvind, the quintessential modern young man who is willing to go through all kinds of hurdles to be with Laxmi. Babu, on the other hand is the psychopath who is struggling with his own psyche, to produce a moral justification for his actions. Babu is the 'bad guy' in the movie, but as Laxmi puts it: ''Tumhare bhi kuch ussul hain''. Laxmi's character, although under developed shows a wide range of qualities. Laxmi is not the typical hindi heroine who cries and howls when kidnapped by a dangerous man like Babu. Instead she is thoughtful and clever in carefully steering herself from danger.. No, don't expect any preachy statements from her.. in fact she even declares her love for Babu in order to get away with trouble..


The performances - All three actors have done justice to their roles. Vivek Oberoi's role is the shortest and least impacting, but he still does a good job. Manoj Bajpai is splendid in playing the obsessed psychopath. He exhibits Babu's range of emotions beautifully. The surprise package, however is Antara Mali who gets into the character effortlessly. No wailing, no annoying dialogues, just the smart, independent and intelligent heroine, for once.


Despite all the above mentioned plusses, sadly, Road is no masterpiece; mostly because of the under-developed script, but is still worth a watch for some realistic and noteworthy sequences, courtesy Ram Gopal Varma.


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