Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and half stars)
Star Cast: Rajat Kapoor, Aditi Chengappa, Bidita Bag, Gabriella Schmidt, Huma Qureshi, Neha Mahajan, Parno Mitra, Pia Bajpai, Pooja Ruparel, Radhika Apte, Richa Shukla, Rii, Swara Bhaskar, Anshuman Jha
Director: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Hemant Gaba, Nalan Kumarasamy, Pratim D. Gupta, Raja Sen, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath, Suparn Verma
What’s Good: Breaking the curse of otherwise mundane Indian cinema, X : Past Is Present is an experimental affair. Not only do 11 directors mould this film according to their tastes, they also bring out the weirdest ideas of reality and fiction together.
What’s Bad: As multiple stories unfold, the film gets extremely confusing and unfortunately it seems more like a pseudo intelligent affair!
Loo Break: Hell Yeah!
Watch or Not?: Well, the movie is certainly not massy and even for the elite audiences, it is a little tough to digest. One could watch it for it’s experimental nature but beyond that, the warped stories may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
K (Rajat Kapoor) is a not-so-successful filmmaker who has made 20 films in his career that have mostly fared well at the International film festivals but have little recognition in India. At a party, post a film fete, he meets a vivacious young girl who strikes a conversation with him that takes him back through various time frames of his life. He is reminded of all the women in his life and how they contributed to his filmmaking and writing which is now a prime concern since he has no story to tell with no woman in his life.
X- Past is Present Review: Script Analysis
The basic plot revolves around K and his escapades with several women, His dealings with the women in his life have sexual innuendos and thus the recurring themes in the film remain infidelity, voyeurism, sodomy etc.
One of the best stories out of the lot that will stay with you is the poignant romance built by Pratim D. Gupta. The story of two strangers who share a room and poetries but never meet each other is rather brilliant.
Another story that truly catches your eye is the one starring Swara Bhaskar. Just when you think, this is a story of a sexual encounter between two people who have a strong language barrier, it will shock the hell out of you with it’s twist.
Modern day, Devdas tale is the most atrocious thing you will see. The bleary tale seems quite disturbing to the eyes.
Rajshree Ojha’s tale with a Radhika Apte remains clear and to the point. She presents us a wife who won’t take any more sh*t from her cheating husband and even if that requires a decision to abort their child.
Sudhish Kamath gets the major chunk as he steers the story from start where Rajat’s character meets Aditi Chengappa. There is a certain uncertainty attached to his story and while the conversations move from one ex to another, you are more interested in finding what’s brewing between K and the girl whose name is kept a secret till the end.
Rest of the film keeps shoving stories in your face that after a point seem banal and in the end come to convey the same thing as the other.
X- Past is Present Review: Star Performance
Rajat Kapoor is at his usual best. He slips into K’s complicated character with much ease.
Amongst a handful of actresses that are seen in the film, Radhika Apte, Pooja Ruparel, Swara Bhaskar certainly leave a mark.
Huma Qureshi seems limited and fails to impress much because of her role.
Anshuman Jha who plays the younger version of K does a fine a job too.
Paroma Mitra wins you with her expressive role.
X- Past is Present Review: Music, Direction
11 directors, directing 11 different genres is quite an abstract thought and an even more abstract thing to see.
Each having their own choice of lighting, camera movements and background scores, the film becomes quite a hotchpotch. While majority of the film is shot with the women in focus, the on-purpose shaky camera movements may account for two things, one being the way men gaze at the ladies and the second being it’s attempt to come across as avant-garde.
The film deals with past and present and even has a certain importance given to the watch but sadly, the film itself does not seem to go on track with it. As the story progresses in one night, the night never seems to come to an end and when it does, the epiphany attached to it is not worth.
Editing is not up to the mark with a hasty change of frames and considering the story is already moving into flashbacks it is even more confusing to watch.
X- Past is Present Review: The Last Word
X :Past Is Present tries too hard at being modern-day filmmaking but in the lieu forgets audience’s commercial tastes. In one of the dialogues, K says that he does not believe in God but in Science. Well, God, Science and Filmmaking, all three seem to be a lost cause here. I will go with a 1.5/5 for it!
X- Past is Present Trailer
X- Past is Present releases on 20th November, 2015.
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