It is said that too many cooks spoil the broth and debutant Nikhil Mahajan’s ‘Pune 52’ suffers because of the same. In an attempt to make the movie a gripping neo-noir, Mahajan confuses the audience with a hotchpotch plot and ends the film on an abrupt note.
What’s it about?
The film is based in Karve Nagar, Pune, where detective Amar Apte (Girish Kulkarni) earns a living by spying on cheating spouses. His nagging wife Prachi (Sonali Kulkarni) constantly taunts Apte because of his low-paying job and because of this, he’s drawn to femme fatale Neha (Sai Tamhankar). What follows is a twisted tale of betrayal, revenge, murder and blackmail.
Mahajan, who earlier worked with Ram Gopal Varma Productions, imitates his former boss’ style of story-telling. Pune 52 is dark and has all the ingredients of a perfect mystery, but it falls short at engaging the audience, who after a certain point of time start tossing and turning in their seats while wondering what’s happening. There are too many twists and you’re unable to follow the story after a while. You cannot sympathize with the film’s spineless protagonist and thus, Mahajan’s soon fighting a losing battle.
A still from the film
It was heartbreaking to see national award-winning actor Girish Kulkarni struggling to please the audience – a far cry from his usual simplistic style. We don’t have problems with unconventional faces in lead roles, having accepted the likes of Atul Kulkarni and Subodh Bhave because they put in such flawless performances. But in this case, it’s hard to swallow that Kulkarni is a lady-killer (and we don’t only mean that figuratively).
On the other hand, the ladies in the film are far more bearable. Sonali Kulkarni as the pesky wife generates more curiosity than her husband, whereas Sai Tamhankar has shed her inhibitions(again!) but still does her role justice. Her kissing scenes are certainly bound to raise your eyebrows.
On a positive note, Mahajan successfully brings alive a lush green Pune from the 90s on the silver screen. Credit must also be given to cinematographer Jeremy Reagan and sound engineer Baylon Fonseca for the mysterious look and sound of the film.
What to do?
A visual treat more than an entertaining one, ‘Pune 52’ is a one-time watch.
in.com rating: 2/5
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