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What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it?
There’s a problem with love. It trivialises bigger, heavier and more serious issues. Like sexual harassment.

Sudhir Mishra unites with his protege Chitrangada for a third time after Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Yeh Saali Zindagi to give you Inkaar and scorching up scene with the lady is Arjun Rampal. No complaints whatsoever we say!

Inkaar,
as the promos amply revealed, is about the grave matter of sexual harassment in the office space and the eternal battle of the sexes. When women are not comfortable with flirtation it becomes harassment, says the character played by Deepti Naval, the quintessential NGO worker who comes to investigate the sexual harassment charges. Relevant? Don’t be in a hurry to call this a good effort Yet.

Maya Luthra (Chitrangada Singh) and Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal) are co-workers in a high profile advertising agency. He’s the CEO and she’s the copywriter who grows in leaps and bounds to become the National Creative Director in a span of seven years. And then one fine day she slams a sexual harassment case against the very man who mentored her and brought her to the helm of her professional capacities and then some more.

The clash between these two gets the company to a standstill of sorts as half the office join in to deliberate whether Maya is lying or Rahul, and therefore, who must quit or settle matters with a compensation. The story unravels an event at a time as Mishra takes us back and forth through the timeline, narrating and at times re-narrating incidents that got the characters locking horns.

Mishra builds the story well, there are moments when one is not sure as to who is telling the truth and on whose neck the sexual harassment axe must fall. For Rahul Verma it would be an insult added to an injury of losing his job and for Maya Luthra — the horror of harassment and the severe discomfort at work since scales tip towards the CEO.

A tough battle without a doubt, but anti-climax strikes. Mishra falters, loses the plot somewhere and what could have been a sharp and intelligent movie becomes a bumbling mess of a kiss in the office washroom. Tragic.

We get that Bollywood movies have clichéd endings, they are known across the globe to have clichéd endings. But can we please ask this ‘intelligent’ director as to why he chose a bold subject and then decided to water it down to an insipid, stupid love story?

Sexual harassment has nothing to do with love, it does not come out of love or out of any mutation of that feeling. It comes from a dark grotto of perversion and chauvinism and Mishra should have done better. We aren’t taking sides, sexual harassment can be two fold, men may be harassed as well — it is just as grave an issue nonetheless.

Chitrangada and Arjun look stunning together, we give half a star extra for their chemistry. Otherwise, Inkaar is not worth the weight it claimed to come with.
Jhinuk Sen

Jhinuk Sen

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