Film: Inkaar
Director: Sudhir Mishra
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Chitrangada Singh & Deepti Naval

Being a Sudhir Mishra film, expectations from the film are very high. Coupled with the fact that it talks of an issue which usually is not dealt on celluloid makes this film one of the eagerly awaited films of this year. His latest offering, ‘Inkaar’ features his favourite actress Chitrangada Singh and Arjun Rampal and deals with a very relevant issue of present times- sexual harassment at work place.

The story is set in an advertising agency of which Rampal is the CEO and Chitrangada is the Creative Director. The film also features actress Deepti Naval in an pivotal role and has the music of Shantanu Moitra.

Rahul Varma (Arjun Rampal) is the suave, hard-nosed CEO, who is accused of sexual harassment by his colleague Maya Luthra (Chitrangada Singh). In a series of flashbacks, they narrate their story to a social worker, (Deepti Naval) who has been appointed by the agency for the case.

Mishra makes it interesting enough at the beginning by introducing a bit of suspense, giving you a sense that you don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong. But it all unravels pretty quickly.

In flashbacks, it is revealed that Rahul is Maya’s mentor, guiding and helping her through ignorant clients and difficult campaigns. Soon, the employee-boss façade gives way and the two slip into a relationship, one that goes awry when Maya wises up to Rahul’s philandering ways.

Rahul and Maya’s flashbacks are peppered with ear-splitting background music, and much hamming on the part of Singh, who seems to think that shrieking in a high-pitched voice is what amounts to acting.

In contrast, Arjun Rampal drawls, grins lopsidedly and plays the charming, worldly-wise CEO to the hilt. But what is really at fault here is Mishra’s superficial handling of the subject and the way he concludes “Inkaar”, rendering the narrative regressive and offensive both to women AND men.

The climax, again set to loud background music and a bathroom light that flickers irritatingly is so full of clichés and homilies that you wish this was the one time Bollywood hadn’t taken the usual route and had dared to be different.

Arjun Rampal looks the part of a dashing ad man, but his portrayal of the character is bland. It’s like knocking on wood. Arjun is not really in the league of extraordinary stars to carry off a film on his own and Inkaar’s box office numbers will either break that or further reiterate the same. Both Arjun and Chitrangda’s close ups in the film, of which there are many, are visual delights of cinematic perfection.

The acting in the film is left to the beautiful Chitrangda Singh who is splendid in her performance, and the ensemble cast, in particular Deepti Naval and a character called Gupta, played by Vipin Sharma. The film ends on a strange note, not typical in the least, but bizarre would be the apt way to describe it.

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