Sunday, June 16, 2013

Inkaar.


Whether Inkaar fails or succeeds seems solely dependent on what you want out of it as a film, and what your expectations are. If you're looking for a fairly grounded, realistic and serious treatise on sexual harassment in the urban Indian work place, you're going to be disappointed. This film does not make a progressive statement about sexual harassment, either; it portrays a lot of sexist characters saying or doing sexist things, and the main female character battling, but not necessarily always triumphing over, these prejudices.

If, on the other hand, what you're looking for is a case study of two very driven individuals, getting into a complicated relationship and complicating it further with their own inadvisable actions, playing rather vicious mind games with one another, and sabotaging each other at every turn, well, this is your film. Chitrangda Singh and Arjun Rampal grace it with their powerful, interesting chemistry and solid performances. The more the film progresses, the less it becomes about sexual harassment in general - what can happen when emotions and lust enter the work place - and more specifically about Rahul and Maya, these two characters and their strange relationship.

Knowing that I would hate the film, if it did try to say something about sexual harassment, and then reverted back to the same old tropes and clich├ęs, spoken by the more sexist of the film's cast of characters (including Rahul), I made a conscious decision to mainly see it as a story between these two characters. This benefited the film enormously - it's a slightly uncomfortable watch, where the writing isn't always as top-notch as you wish it were, and the acting elevates it only just so that it becomes watchable. In the end, I liked it - not for the things it was stating, but for the way these actors decided to play these characters. By the climax, I was gripped by the story. Whether you buy into the end resolution, seems to depend on whether you believe that Rahul and Maya were somehow changed by the events of the film. I think they were, because I bought into these characters in such a powerful way.

I would give it a very hesitant recommendation, however. It's a film I decided to be forgiving to, and enjoyed mainly because of my own forgiveness. I can see how it could be seen as very damaging, regressive, and most of all annoying.  

4 comments:

odadune said...

That was kind of my hope for it, when I saw the trailers-that it was more a character piece than an attempt at social commentary. I might give this and ETD a try at some point.

veracious said...

Late reply is late.

I hope it's not a waste of your time! It's def not a film I'd buy on DVD, and I think the people who critisize it for being regressive have good points. I was fascinated by these characters, but not enough to rewatch.

odadune said...

Oh, def. not the kind of thing I'd buy, but I recently made some discoveries that expanded my options a bit when it came to viewing movies I didn't want to pay money for, and think I might be able to view it that way.

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