Antardwand - movie review

Published: Aug 28, 2010, 06:20 IST | Bryan Durham

Apparently groom kidnapping is far more rampant than the few reports (filed in leading newspapers) would have you believe

ANTARDWAND
A; DRAMA
Dir: Sushil Rajpal
Cast: Raj Singh Chaudhary, Vinay Pathak, Akhilendra Mishra
Rating: **



WHAT'S IT ABOUT: Apparently groom kidnapping is far more rampant than the few reports (filed in leading newspapers) would have you believe.
Supposedly 'inspired from a true story' (they take the pains to tell you this before the opening credits rolls and before the end credits do as well), this one focuses on Veer, who is waiting for his IAS results in Delhi. His girlfriend Sia is pregnant and he decides to break the news to his authoritarian dad (Vinay Pathak). Promising it would only take a day, he heads off to small-town Bihar.
Meanwhile dad's been getting several marriage offers but has been turning them all down for a very big fish. When Veer does tell his dad about Sia, he tells him off and the boy walks away early the next morning. He doesn't get too far. When he comes to, he finds himself in a barn that doesn't look inviting at all. Over time, he learns the purpose of his kidnapping. When he doesn't agree willingly to marry his kidnapper's daughter, he is hammered (quite literally) into submission. It's all a blur until the morning after when he finds himself already wed.
He can't run until he consummates the marriage and is confined to his room till he does. Does he ever get out and go home?

WHAT'S HOT AND WHAT'S NOT: While the main cast delivers studied, restrained performances, two names stand out. Swati as Janki and Jaya Bhattacharya as her bhabhi demand your attention with solid acts. Swati as the bride forced to make the best of a bad situation excels. The sometimes dusty, sometimes verdant landscape comes vividly alive with Malay Ray's cinematography. Sushil Rajpal's debut appears confident, but only in bits and parts. He does well to highlight a problem that plagues small-town Bihar but in doing so, dwells too long on establishing the rustic flavour. When one example is enough, he offers a dozen. When one flashback is enough, he overdoes it. Considering the number of times these guys down tea cups and guzzle rum (right from the naukars to the landowners), you'd be forgiven for believing that there was actually a recession happening at the time. 

WHAT TO DO? The ending is one you would not necessarily agree with and watching this could be akin to watching one of the soaps on the Mahua channel, but you end up with mixed feelings about the film. Does the job it set out to do, but you aren't quite happy with the effort.

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