Rating: 2.5/5 stars (Two-and-a-half stars)
Star cast: Neil Bhoopalam, Tara Sharma, Purab Kohli, Koel Purie, Rajat Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, Manu Rishi, Brijendra Kala.
What’s Good: The witty comedy; some of the love stories.
What’s Bad: The lack of depth in the stories; the blurry camerawork.
Loo Break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch it if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted rom-com.
Dragging Shakespeare into Indian cinema is always tricky. While Vishal Bhardwaj did a fabulous job turning Othello to the rustic Omkara, you can’t say the same about Sharat Katariya concocting a 10ml Love out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
If you’re familiar with the Bard Of Avon, you’d understand that the story isn’t nearly as simple as a “love quadrilateral”. Peter (Neil Bhoopalam) is a mechanic who spends most of his time on his knees pleading to God. And now that the love of his life Shweta (Tara Sharma) is getting married to someone else, he’s eroding his knees and shedding tears more than ever. There Shweta is increasingly getting frustrated about tying the knot with her childhood friend Neel (Purab Kohli) because she loves Peter, but he (Peter) doesn’t have the guts to elope with her. Unknown to her, Neel has and is having a long affair with another friend of theirs, Minnie (Koel Purie). Minnie has no qualms about professing her love for Neel but he’s on the fence and prefers to get his marriage over and done with than commit to Minnie.
Not too far away, the roadside quack Ghalib (Rajat Kapoor) is nowhere like his namesake poet. Though he’s supposed to be selling aphrodisiacs to enthusiastic lovers and husbands, he spends most of his time tailing his beautiful wife Roshni (Tisca Chopra), who’s just about had enough of him shadowing her. Seeing him unhappy with his marriage, Ghalib’s mother gives him a love potion his father invented – Josh-e-jawani – to make his wife fall in love with him again. There’s also the story of the cook-wannabe-Ramlila-actor Chand (Manu Rishi) who keeps getting sidelined by his boss (Brijendra Kala).
On the fateful night of Shweta’s wedding, Ghalib puts love potion into action. But the results are not anything like he would have imagined…
10ml Love Review: Script Analysis
Adapting Shakespeare to the big screen is tricky, considering his way with words, strong emotions and the element of magic. Writer-director Sharat Katariya gets the witty dialogues and the lovers’ strife just right. But the interspersed giggles aren’t enough. With the movie being of such a short duration, there aren’t really good explanations as to why Neel just doesn’t marry Minnie, or behind Ghalib’s seemingly unwarranted suspicion of his wife. The characters flit on and off the screen, and you don’t feel for any of them (except Ghalib maybe). The high point of the film (josh-e-jawani) arrives a bit too late.
The Ramlila troupe loses significance in the movie doesn’t have the same effect as Pyramus and Thisbe in the original play, mostly because it takes a different turn and doesn’t even get enacted.
10ml Love Review: Star Performances
It’s a lovely start cast that comes together in 10ml Love. Neil Bhoopalam is cute as the god-fearing mechanic Peter, and Tara Sharma complements him well as his shrill and bossy lady love. Purab Kohli and Koel Purie are alright as Neel and Minnie respectively. With his henna-stained beard, Rajat Kapoor is really adorable and fits the bill of the suspicious hubby, with the gorgeous Tisca Chopra playing his wife! Though Manu Rishi, as Chand, and Brijendra Kala get sidelined with all the amorous cross-connections going around, they’re really good, especially with Chand breaking into Ram, Sita and Ravan’s dialogues to impress everyone so that he can bag a meatier role in Ramlila.
10ml Love Review: Direction, Music & Editing
Sharat Katariya does a decent job of making a patchwork of so many love stories come together. You do get the feeling that more of the witty dialogues and letting the audience get to know the characters more would have helped. Sagar Desai handles the music department well and keeps the tunes pleasant and intriguing. Neeraj Sahay’s cinematography stands out in some parts (on Ghalib’s roof) but is ordinary in others. The camerawork is very disappointing with abrupt movements, grainy scenes and blurry shots. Vinod Sukumaran’s editing is alright.
The climax, where the characters enter a dreamy field, is interestingly done with silhouettes, an unexplained landscape, streams etc.
10ml Love Review: The Last Word
For a funny, witty rom-com, 10ml Love makes a nice watch with enjoyable characters. But the film has too little too soon.
10ml Love Trailer
10ml Love released on 7th December, 2012.
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