Movie review: Pune 52
Director: Nikhil Mahajan
Cast: Girish Kulkarni, Sonali Kulkarni, Sai Tamhankar
There are moments in his film that makes you wonder whether the whole experiment needed a second thought. If not, at least a bit more time to reassemble the entire structure. More or less, it’s an attempt at accomplishing something exceptional.
The story is purported to be a thriller but the genre sinks in only a little while after the interval. Until that point, the pace fiddles with your patience. Set in the early ’90s when the Indian middle-class apparently woke up to the idea of globalisation and let materialism rule supreme, a married couple (Girish Kulkarni and Sonali Kulkarni) is struggling to make ends meet. Adding to the wife’s pain, her husband is a lost-in-his-own-world detective with no regular income to boot.
Insofar, the artsy tone is pretty much blatant. But then a twist takes birth with the man’s excessive involvement with one of his clients (Sai Tamhankar). That’s when things have to move from bold to panicky to awry so as to make sure blood spills. And they did!
Though the screen is a beauty to behold — thanks to brilliant cinematography by Jeremy Reagan — the overall yarn leaves much to be desired. Some scenes compel you to sit up and take notice while others are just a drag. On the brighter end, in some way or the other, each character reflects the uncertainty of the era they represent. An admirable ensemble of actors with seemingly effortless performance deserves mention. Girish etches a person who would prefer to stay within his limits but somehow fails — at success as well as failure. Sonali’s nagging spouse act is only superseded by her loving spouse act. Sai has to be the surprise package due to her restrained portrayal of a woman who is battling loneliness.
To sum up, whenever an intense sequence is playing out, a high-octane background score takes over. Watch Pune 52 for these noir instances because they represent what this picture is all about. In case you’re the impatient type, chuck the whole idea.