Roy Movie Review

Friday, February 13, 2015
ROY Review
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal & Jaqueline Fernandez Director: Vikramjit Singh Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Freeway Pictures
Two pertinent questions came to mind while watching ROY- what & why?
Despite my best efforts, they kept niggling & knocking inside my head all throughout the film. In retrospect, they helped in staying awake during this snooze inducing, confused film.
ROY employs dual narration to tell 2 parallel stories. One is, of a franchise filmmaker battling writes bloc & having a dalliance with an alternate female filmmaker (Arjun Rampal as Kabir & Jaqueline Fernandez as Aisha). The second is of an ace thief who (very slowly) falls in love with a millionaire painter/ socialite (Played by Ranbir Kapoor as ROY & Jaqueline Fernandez as Tia) while smoothly going about his business. Roy’s stellar stealth skills are core to the plot of Kabir’s third film that also weaves in Aisha’s real self and patches in a romance between the thief & rather unquestioning Tia. Their personas begin to reflect each other. Confused? Wait, there’s more. Add to the mix, a lame cop (lamentable role for Rajat Kapoor), a doting dad (Anupam Kher) & a supportive manager (Shernaz Patel) walking in & out of Kabir’s life, even as he makes a massive film and continues to brood over his Work in Progress, one true love. Dazed AND
Confused?
Well, that’s exactly the feeling you get after watching this long, tedious film. I don’t question Vikramjit Singh’s efforts in attempting a complex narrative & shooting a pretty film. He also uses background music deftly, which in Bollywood, is increasingly becoming rare.
In ROY’s case, the WHY is related to its sheer artifice & confabulation. The ‘Why’ is because the story’s weak plot points dilute it’s impact completely and should have been addressed while it was being written. Why is this film set in Malaysia? Why is there such focus on mannerisms of actors & so little on their emotions? Why is Kabir such a pretentious person? Why has he flipped for Aisha? Why do they exchange soul-drilling philosophy right from their first meeting? Why makes them these perennial corner café Kafkas? If love happens, why don’t they ever share real emotion? And why does a short dalliance leave such a lasting mark on Aisha, who is otherwise quite the 21st century free spirit?
Note to maker- Not all women, however thoughtful they might be, get hung up on a man so bad that they tend to escape him or moon over him after. More often than not, a fling is just that- a passing of time. And this might apply even more so to Aisha- being the free spirit, bejeweled flower child that she is! Both Kabir & Aisha seem to be over engaged with rather a flimsy holiday affair. And then there’s the nagging ‘What’ about ROY. What is Roy aiming at? What was Ranbir Kapoor doing while shooting for this film that makes him look like he is asleep on set? Was he working double shifts? What does Kabir really need to be angsty about, considering he has money, has found 21 pretty women to dump and funding for his next film? And what was anyone thinking that such convoluted tripe became dialogues? In the end, what is the intention of the filmmaker, after all?
Even as Malaysia looks lovely, the film is drab. Performances are numb & Jaqueline’s double role is skin deep. Shades of lipstick and hair color change, but the personas don’t. While the songs of ROY are catchy, they don’t fit into its narrative. To pull off parallel narrations seamlessly, a script needs absolute precision convincing performances. One such film is ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ (1981, starring Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons & written by Harold Pinter). It is slow too, but it’s pace builds up-tempo & grows on you. And the performances are marvelous.
Apart from it’s plot flaws, performances leave ROY gasping for breath. Clearly the written material didn’t offer much in terms of building character & reason. While production values, cinematography & locations spell style, its characters seem to be dazed & confused. Its common knowledge by now that Ranbir Kapoor did this film for a friend’s sake (director Vikramjit Singh). He sure is a loyal friend! ROY gives him little to work with and he hasn’t made much of an effort.
In the end, My WHY & HOW remain unanswered. Watch this film only if you really want to watch a Hindi film this weekend. Or if you want to check out Malaysia before you take a vacation.
Ticket Price Value: 45 Per cent.

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