Zain Khan Durrani, Geetanjali Thappa
While everyone is condemning love in the times of the digitial era, director Onir came up with the idea of healing through the virtual space and had churned a heartwarming love story. But somewhere between threading the relationships between tram-rides and Whatsapp, Onir forgot his audience is the jet-set genre who needs a little more fast paced story-telling, writes Shubarna Mukerji Shu.
Archana (Geetanjali Thapa) has leukoderma, but she wears the patches like a badge of honor. She is not hiding, not scampering and definitely not weeping at her misfortune. She is dealing with whatever life has thrown at her with a big broad smile. She is dating mercilessly too. This meme-artists happens to dial a wrong number which changes her life completely. Alfaza (Zain Khan Durrani) on the other hand is extremely popular and overtly reserved. He might have the world listening to him each night on his radio show, but he prefers to keep what’s within him confined to himself. When Archie aka Archana comes into his life, albeit virtually, nothing seems to be the same anymore. There begins conversation which he hardly ever had with himself, there begins acceptance which he didn’t realise he needed. While both our protagonists heal, we the audience come back into believing in love once again. It is a beautiful premise on which Onir has pegged his story, with almost every frame of the film, he has built the dichotomy of old and new. While the protagonists travel in rusty trams, they build on the virtual love. With both old and new having equal significance in the film, Onir had very beautifully translated the need of accepting the old, while we embrace the new. Very ably aided by Nusrat F. Jafri, Onir’s Kuch Bheege Alfaaz has a poetic feel through out the story.
It is beautiful and even relatable in parts but a wee bit too slow paced. Onir has got into every relationship his protagonists share in utmost details. Their individual chemistry with those around them, and the build up to the love story takes too long. More so, there are questions asked, but no answers given till the very end of the film. Which makes it a bit of a damn squib. The build-up is very gradual and yet, rather predictable too; making the effervescence of the new love lost. Which is unfortunate especially for the lead actors, for clearly a lot was riding on the film for them.
For instance, Geetanjali Thapa despite being a National Award Winning actor isn’t getting her due in Hindi films, for Zain it was the first ever time he played lead in a hindi film, and yet the film will not better their prospects - for the simple reason that it doesn’t have the reach they need. The many beautiful moments scattered around the screenplay amount to nothing substantial than a weak smile. We needed more for this tiny attempt by Onir to make a big difference - KUCH BHEEGE ALFAAZ won't be remembered as one of the director's best works.