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Why is Deepti Naval so cranky?
Ronjita Kulkarni |
February 07, 2003 20:46 IST
New age cinema is back. Is it here to stay? That remains to be seen.
Earlier, we had M F Husain's Gajagamini where the director's vision failed to reach the masses. The film could not grasp audiences and sank.
V K Prakash's Freaky Chakra is another example. You simply wonder why the film was made. It cannot hope to attract a wide audience due to its unconventional screenplay. Also, releasing the same day as Kareena starrer Khushi, Raveena starrer Satta and Karisma starrer Baaz is hardly a good idea for a Deepti Naval starrer.
Even the music, the selling point of most films, may not find much of an audience. Yeh dil ne kuch kaha hai is probably the only regular Hindi song and is beautifully rendered. The others are a fusion of classical and Western tunes.
The story, as narrated by Ranvir Sheorey (who tends to grate on your nerves at times), is about a lonely woman who is widely disliked. A haggard woman who left her medical practice after she could not save her husband, she is very temperamental and spends her time either alone or with dead people (she becomes a coroner).
Every night she waits for a telephone call from a sex pervert (played by Sachin Khedekar). What she does not know is that the caller is her neighbour who makes daily rounds at her place with a medical excuse.
One day, a young boy (Sunil Roah) walks into her life. And everything changes. The 40-something changes from a prim and cranky nag to a pretty and blushing Janki.
The film is very different from Dil Chahta Hai, Leela and Ek Chhotisi Love Story, where the story includes a young man in love with an older woman. Freaky Chakra is more about the life of an older unwanted woman who craves for attention. It tells the boringly monotonous life of a loner and how it changes when a young man enters it.
Miss Thomas is the most interesting character in Freaky Chakra and Deepti deserves credit. She has always been known for her ability to make her actions speak louder than her words. Her expressions as a bored, cranky woman, her fights with the watchman and vegetable vendors give way to warmth and tenderness after she meet Sunil. When Sunil tells her she looks better with her hair down, her face lights up instantly, even as she tries to hide her happiness.
Newcomer Sunil does a decent job. He looks comfortable with Deepti and holds his own. After Deepti, Sachin Khedekar turns in a brilliant performance. His excellent comic timing saves his performance from any hint of monotony.
For all the performances, the characters are shallow and unexplained. For example, who exactly is Sunil and why does he want to live with Deepti so badly? What is it that makes a young man full of life fall in love with a bored woman? And why does Deepti encourage a stranger on the phone who only talks sex?
And I am still wondering why the film is called Freaky Chakra.