Movie Review: Bhram an Illusion

BhramGet ready for some real pot-mouthed ladies. I mean onscreen. Girls here don’t shy away from speculating the count of BJ’s and rampantly indulge in BJ jokes. They snort the white powder and drink till they drop. Welcome to the Jungle of the 21st century heroine. She is no longer the girl in the sari, but is suffering from the “pink thong, black lung” syndrome. Another addition to the cast is the stereotypical effeminate designer whose panic is “ejected” in his histrionics. And yeah, still more BJ jokes. And the guys;now they only say “FUCK” when they are either angry or offended. Not like we do-e.g. Fuck No,Fuck yes, Fuck may be. You get it. But that’s just where Bhram (an Illusion) begins. Antara Tyagi (Sheetal Menon) is a model troubled by casting couch predators and more than that, her dark past. She keeps wandering in her past and keeps away from male company. That’s until she is hit on by saadda hunk Shaan (Dino Morea) who is the brother of an investment banking tycoon Dev Rawal (Milind Soman ). The narrative jumps directly to the action area by adapting a non-linear flow, loaded with flashbacks and all jumbled up.

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The plot encircles around these few characters: Shaan, Dev, Antara and her past. Everything else is pretty much an accessory. Shaan falls in love with the weird and introvert Antara. Antara doesn’t know that her life is coming a full circle with the entry of Shaan in her life(I would like to interrupt here to ask: Why do Indian movies have (almost) always followed the format of a first half which ends with a couple of events summing down to a suspense with an intermission in between? Is it because they want us to think over during the pee break as to what is gonna happen in the next episode? Ooh! how smart are we!!). The first half of the movie juggles from one sub-plot to another and sometimes entangles the puzzle even more, rather than solving it. So here’s what happens – Shaan brings Antara to meet his family- Bhaiya and Bhabhi- Antara accuses Dev to be the rapist and murderer of her sister, an event which happened 10 years ago in ‘Unnees Sau Teeranve” (1993) on her birthday. Second interruption: I would like to take a moment here for myself to pat my own back. I noticed a goof-up here. Antara’s sister drives her in a Maruti Suzuki WagonR to meet Dev in the resort. It’s 1993, and no Maruti Suzuki WagonR had been produced then by the manufacturers. Thank you! Now sit down and read further.

Bhram 2To hum kahaa the?(Where were we?) Dev’s wifey (Simone Singh) is very upset, and so is Shaan. But Shaan wants to get to know the truth. Dev obviously denies it. So now the question is, is Antara living in a Bhram (an Illusion) of a past she thinks might have happened or did Dev commit the crime which he kept locked in his dark closet? Shaan goes to Manali to find it and is accompanied by his friend who also works at Dev’s firm. That’s the first half.No one at Manali wants to answer Shaan’s queries about D-Day when it happened-ten years back. God knows why!! Apparently there are even higher authorities in the government who don’t want to leak out the information about the event. Until it is all blurted out by a restaurant waiter who gives in to the scare of the bicep power of Mr.Morea. And what does he say-Dev is innocent and he was framed. There wasn’t any autopsy done, no police investigation, nothing. And yeah, in these 10 years, Dev dawns as the Mr.Fantastic Financio but still manages to keep the same hairdo, with some beard grown over the years (just a little attention to the details). Bro-Shaan is elated to hear that Big Bro is innocent and calls him to say that everything is going to be back to normal, calls everyone for a reunion at Manali. Dev, the impulsive guy that he is,calls up Shaan’s friend and vomits out that he is actually the rapist- which is accidentally received by Shaan.

Climax time:- They all gather at a rocky location. And as Miss Antara as well as Mr.Shaan said- “I can read your face, I can read your mind, your body”, well, I say-” I can read the rocks, I can read the snow, and I can definitely see the altitude”- this is no way Manali. C’mon this is Ladakh. Nevertheless, beautiful location but long dialogues. Long story short, Dev narrates the story from his view point, and well everyone is so utterly bored that they just leave. Okay, by that I mean the audience, not the family guys. They left because they thought Dev was wrong. Dev gets impulsive yet again and shoots himself. Yes, SHOOTS HIMSELF. C’mon, you could have waited a month or so at least. You could have given Simone a diamond ring, taken her out to an expensive restaurant and may be travel to Bahamas together. Oh wait, Chicken Momos could’ve done the magic even. I donno how this silly guy became an investment banking guru with all that impulsive nature filled in him. First he thinks that just because her lady-love wouldn’t run away with her, he rapes her just after a line of dialogue -” What do you want from me now then? Just a fuck?!!!” And then he does it. And secondly he shoots himself. He never thought of what’d happen to his bald Brit Client who actually sounds like an Aussie mate! Poor Simone Bhabhi. She has to return to that tarot card reading show I guess, with that Mallu Menon. And poor Shaan. I hope the will goes in his favor. Else, Antara has to support her. Anyway I am done.

The climax was actually very long for me. Just felt like chewing on a wrigley with no juice. Felt like the editor’s contract just expired when the Ladakh scene happened. Visually, the movie is really compelling. The rains, the snows, the bed-sheets, the neons of the dance floor and the halogens in the make up van. All are picture-perfect. Yeah, but the water sliding on the glass is a big challenge for me. The movie has many scenes involving rain, and specially Antara has a thing for the hazy glass with water flowing on it. I know it looks classy but it makes me wanna pee a lot. May be that’s the challenge. Anyway, musically this is one of the most superior works of this year. Oh, btw! Siddharth and Suhas- the music diro duo are the guys from Vedic Chant- a band which did a single called -Todenge Phodenge – with Abbey (of Ae Sanam and Khallas fame) in the V-Jammin album. They also appear in that song-Sohniye. It’s funny to see people dance to a rock number though.I even liked the club numbers which I kinda didn’t like so much when I heard it on the CD. One good thing is that all the songs are background soundtracks which doesn’t take away the credibility of the narrative. Special applause for the intimate scenes- the bronze tainted look just got me confused, if you know what I mean! And Pritam’s adaptation of “Ghare Pheraar Gaan”( SOURCE: Sachiniti) in the voice of Sonu Nigam- (I guess the spelling is wrong but who cares)-Jaane Kyun- is simply put haunting. I just LOVE it. The movie on the other hand is not as good as the music. The plot is a drama more than a thriller.The mystery, even after it was solved, somehow didn’t bring a sense of satisfaction to me, and left me wishing for something more. A crisper climax with a twister ending could have done it. For me, it was an average entertainer. I would go with a 6 on 10 for this. Could’ve been much much better.

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