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Yeh Saali Zindagi

With Sudhir Mishra as writer and director, you can’t expect a run-of-the-mill product. However, his latest offering only partially lives up to expectations. To quote a dialogue from the film itself – “Ishq aur bullet me koi farak nahin hota, dono nikalti hai chhati fadne ke liye”. Ironically, this sums up the film as well as its story.

This movie is about how a guy or gal can go all out for the person they love even though they know the object of their affection is not in love with them. Though not a novel concept, Sudhir Mishra’s signature style of writing and storytelling makes this film interesting.

The movie kicks off very well; every character is introduced and you’re amazed at the proceedings. The first half hour is slick and quick and doesn’t allow you to really think. Then suddenly, the pace slows and you’re introduced to a myriad plots. The sheer number of sub-plots dilutes the film and it loses its grip on the audience.

The story begins with Arun and the woman he loves, Priti. But there’s a twist, Priti loves Shyam, the would-be son-in-law of a powerful minister. On the other hand, Kuldeep, a young gangster, is on his last job as his wife convinces him to give up a life of crime. Kuldeep is assigned to kidnap Shyam and his would-be wife but, as fate would have it, they end up kidnapping Shyam and Priti! Since Arun is madly in love with Priti, he begins to follow the kidnapper. What follows forms the crux of the film. 
Not a great plot but the way it is narrated, edited and presented makes it a treat to watch. The performances also make this film worth watching.

The screenplay is taut but loses its grip, especially post-interval. And, yes, there are too many sub-plots. There was also no need to so sharply define and develop every member of Kuldeep’s team. Another flaw: It is inexplicable how Irrfan’s men magically appear every time one of them is required. Dialogue definitely makes an impact but it will keep the family audience away.

If the narrative will be applauded by the niche audience, the common man will find the proceedings difficult to comprehend. Also, too many characters and events causes confusion. And finally, the bullet sequence at the climax is totally filmy.

Besides, Sudhir Mishra’s direction and Archit Rastogi’s editing, music, background music and dialogue by Mishra and Manu Rishi (though full of cuss words) are the other highlights of the film.

Performance-wise, Irrfan is terrific. Chitrangda Singh is fantastic. Arunodhay Singh is good. Saurabh Shukla is first rate. Sushant Singh plays his part well. Vipin Sharma, Yashpal Sharma and Vipul Gupta make an impact. Prashant Narayanan overacts.

Verdict: This film will be liked only by the city audience and select multiplexes. A long run is out of the question.

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