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I Am 24

A well put-together cast, a director who has worked with the actors before, and a cast and crew whose forté is offbeat comedy makes for a winner. But its storyline, prolonged screenplay and predictability work against I Am 24.

The film is about Shubendu Roy (Rajat Kapoor), an honest and struggling writer who lives in Mumbai, the city of dreams,with his aspiring actor-friend Gagan (Ranvir Shorey). Gagan, who swears by the magic of lies, persuades Shubendu to adopt this habit. One night, Shubendu stumbles on an online chatting site and meets Kanak (Manjari Fadnis), a 22-year old Delhi girl. Soon he weaves a web oflies to woo Kanak and hones the art of lying. He also lands a job writing soap-oper a scripts for a television producer (Saurabh Shukla). Meanwhile, Gagan is busy enticing a budding actress Sheila (Neha Dhupia). Everything trails to a ride of lies, cover-ups, goof-ups and contradicting tales, and Shubendu begins enjoying this ride.

Unfortunately, there are many draw backs to this film. The story line is vague and predictable. The screenplay drags and is monotonous. The film fails to impress and the comic situations are,well, not comic at all but boring. Many scenes could have been funny but do not evoke any humour. For instance,when Rajat Kapoor is introduced, the sequence starts on a funny note but falls flat in a few seconds. However, some scenes have been handled smartly, like when Kapoor tells Shorey he made a new friend online. The exchange between the two of them is hilarious.

Director Saurabh Shukla puts together an impressive story.But the story board and screenplay zest. However, Shukla does put across many scenes with élan. The scene where Shorey sings in a French accent for Kapoor and Fadnis is very funny. The first half is decent but, post-interval, the film goes down hill.

Dialogue is uncomplicated but forgettable. Music doesn’t impress much and the song sequences pull down the narration. Cinematography is average. Editing is good. Locations and costumes are all right.

Performance-wise, Rajat Kapoor plays his part with ease and pulls off his part with panache. Neha Dhupia gets top billing with her confidence and plays her part with flamboyance. Ranvir Shorey impresses with his screen presence and character sketch. Manjari Fadnis plays her part well and makes her presence felt. Vijay Raaz has very little to do but does inject some fun moments. Lilette Dubey has not much to do. Saurabh Shukla and Delnaaz Paul don’t impress.The rest of the cast is apt.

Verdict: A predictable storyline, its box-office fate will be poor.

Harshita V

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