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

June 25, 2010

Bare bore!

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 1:12 pm

June 25, 2010

Cast: Prashant Narayanan, Aruna Shields, Naved Aslam, Lucy Hassan

Director: Pravesh Bharadwaj

Mr Singh / Mrs Mehta takes the premise of Wong Kar-Wai’s celebrated film In The Mood For Love, and turns that delicate tale of passion and betrayal into a trite, sleazy saga.

When a London businessman’s wife Neera (played by Aruna Shields) discovers that her husband is having an affair with a married woman, she turns up to confront the mistress. Instead she meets the lady’s unsuspecting spouse Ashwin (played by Prashant Narayanan), and over time the two enter into an affair of their own.

Ashwin, a struggling artist, now finds himself inspired to paint Neera in the nude. Cue for several boring sessions where he throws paint on the canvas while Neera shows off her back and bum to the camera. Believe me, it’s not sexy.

Mr Singh / Mrs Mehta doesn’t have a shred of artistic merit. The film is tackily shot and feels as if the director had no idea how to go forward with his threadbare plot. Ashwin and Neera yak on and on about how they fell in love with their spouses, until you want to throw up your hands and yell, “Who cares?”

What’s infinitely worse is the dreadful acting. Naved Aslam, playing Neera’s husband Mr Singh, puts on an affected cheery performance that makes you want to drown him in his marble bathtub. Aruna Shields, who you might remember from the Vivek Oberoi-starrer Prince, is more stiff than a corpse. She plays a richie-rich wife, but when she’s not posing in the buff, she sports the same brown coat and Burberry handbag in every single scene. Attention to detail is clearly not this film’s forte. As for lead actor Prashant Narayanan, whom you could once depend on for a solid performance, he mutters and stares blankly, and rolls cigarette after cigarette in every second scene as if he was shooting for an instruction video.

This film might have worked as soft-core porn, but alas it doesn’t even engage on that level. I’m going with one out of five for director Pravesh Bharadwaj’s Mr Singh / Mrs Mehta. That’s two hours of my life I’m never getting back. Word of advice to everyone involved: if you’re going to take your clothes off on screen, don’t forget the body make-up!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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