Aug 20, 2011

Not A (Great) Love Story!

Ram Gopal Verma divides opinion, there is little doubt over this fact. While some loathe his mannerism, outspoken nature and even his body of work, others praise his distinctive style, courage and 'never say never' attitude. However, neither I intend to discuss the enigma called RGV here nor do I wish to tear apart his 'infant terrible' stature. I just wish to present an honest opinion on RGV's latest directorial venture 'Not a Love Story', based on the infamous Neeraj Grover Murder Case.

Lets make few things clear at the onset. This film seems to be made in a tearing hurry, to cash on the public attention the Neeraj Grover case is getting. To make sure that a good film is made in the given limited time span, the director has smartly used young (student-level) technicians, who come up with an over-all refined product. Students of a leading media school have managed to give a very slick look to the film. Not a Love Story boasts of snazzy editing, competent sound design and excellent special effects. This, for me, is the high point of the film.

The film also has excellent background score (Sandeep Chowta, Remember him?) and some very competent performances. Mahie Gill shines in the role of a aspiring actress whose dream of making it big in the dream city turns sour. Zakir Hussain, as the investigating cop, infuses life into the otherwise dull second half. Surprisingly, Deepak Dobriyal, otherwise a very fine actor, looks out of touch in the role of Mahie's obsessive boyfriend. RGV just makes a caricature of that gruesome murderer in form of Dobriyal.

Not A Love Story lacks drama. It merely tries to depict the circumstances and events that led to murder of Ashish (Ajay Gehi) on that fateful morning in Mumbai. Sadly, the killing and the subsequent chopping of the dead body fail to incite fear, nausea and tension in the viewers' mind. Expectedly, it is the famed 'camera angle' of RGV that irritates, nauseates and suffocates you. He goes overboard with his camera fixation and ends up zooming in on bosoms and underpants of the lead protagonist. Towards the end, you develop a strong feeling that camera in the film has been used for pretentious reasons, for hiding the glaring loopholes in story and screenplay. What else explains, a 'shaky' camera in the courtroom!

Unlike other crime dramas like No One Killed Jessica, Verma's Not a Love Story lacks substance, conclusion and conviction. The ending is bizzare and leaves a very bad taste in your mouth. A fine talent like Deepak Dobriyal has been terribly wasted. His only job is to pop out his yellow eyes and suck the life out of Mahie Gill's mouth. The middle portions of the film lack pace and hence, even a two-hours length seems to be treacherous. The director also does not bother to take the audience inside the mind of such a ruthless murderer. The 'psychological angle' would have been welcome, but all we get is a funny 'nightmare' scene, with RGV written all over it!

Verma's treatment of the subject in the final reels in amateurish and stupid in many ways. Yes, the case is still sub-judice and one does not expect the director to pass a judgement on the murder. Yet, the ending makes you laugh at the sheer audacity and stupidity of the director!

To give credit to makers of the film, the entire package is not that bad, thanks to strong technical aspects of the film. But, as the cliche goes, nothing can replace the soul and substance. Watch it (if at all) for Mahie Gill's riveting performance and some crash course in editing & sound design! And Yes, this is not RGV's 'best work' by any stretch of imagination.

Average- **!


  1. If my views were counted, I'd say this is one of best reviews ever written. You seemed so much clear with your thoughts and views that this post has come out very well. I was skeptic about watching this movie and I think I should skip it. Very well written! I am impressed all over again!


  2. Thank You Lebnox! And Yes your views do count. Ace reviewer you are! ;)

  3. :D !!

    And this is one of those rare movies which you have seen but I have not ;)

    PS: Movies of Akshay and Salman are not counted :P

  4. Yeah..This was an accident (seeing the movie)..unplanned..;)

  5. Hahaha! Not an accidental story :P

  6. I felt cheated post watching the same... thought RGV will amuse me this time (i have been trying hard not to lose respect for him but for some last 3-4 years i don't know what is happening with him)

    RGV is an able craftsman and storytelling skills are very much imbibed in him but.. nevermind..hope sanity makes its way..

    genuinely reviewed.. cent-percent..I share the same opinion as of yours

  7. Arrogance is RGV's biggest problem..I suppose..He is not willing to see his decline..Hope he recovers soon !!