Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

February 27, 2009

Life imprisonment

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 6:37 pm

February 27, 2009

Cast: Rajat Kapoor, Sachin Nayak, Pradeep Kabra, Pradip Sagar

Director: Pryas Gupta

Siddharth The Prisoner is a film with a half-decent premise, but it’s so agonisingly snail-paced, you can’t be blamed for nodding off to sleep in your seat.

Rajat Kapoor plays Siddharth Roy, a published author who’s just released from prison after serving time for some crime the film’s director doesn’t bother to tell us about. All we know is he narrowly missed winning the Booker Prize; that his wife has left him because she hasn’t been able to forgive him for something — probably the very crime he was imprisoned for; and that he’s hoping she might consider reconciling with him after she reads his latest manuscript.

As luck would have it, the briefcase containing that manuscript gets exchanged inadvertently with another briefcase containing an awful lot of mob money. Now the mob wants their cash back and Roy wants his book back. But it’s also a handsome sum of money to return so easily…

At a running time of 90 minutes, Siddharth The Prisoner feels like a short film that’s been stretched into a feature, and yet the movie leaves so many questions unanswered.

That’s a pity because the film’s shot well, mostly on location in the dark underbelly of the city; and because Sachin Nayak who plays the film’s second lead — the guy who must return Roy’s manuscript and collect the money from him instead — has an interesting presence. What’s more, there’s a message in this movie that makes sense. But director Pryas Gupta kills much of the suspense and drama in the plot with its lethargic pace, and what might have been a watchable film is ultimately a test of your endurance.

I’m going with one out of five for director Pryas Gupta’s Siddharth The Prisoner. I could use the obvious pun about the audience being the prisoner here, but let’s face it, 90 minutes in prison might probably be less boring in comparison.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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