Tabu, Manoj Bajpayee, Annu Kapoor
Mukul Abhyankar

Something is not right when Sushant Dubey (Manoj Bajpayee) checks in with his wife, Aparna (Tabu) and little three year old, Titli, to a resort in Mauritius. We cannot see much of the little girl because she is all swaddled and put right to bed when they get into their cottage at Port Louis. Sushant has been on his work trip when Aparna joins him. The couple slip into their room, while little Titli sleeps in the other. When the two wake up, they live through their biggest nightmare - they cannot find little Titli anywhere. A very distressed Aparna insists that they call the police immediately, but Sushant wants to wait and search thoroughly before acting rashly…. Eventually, officer Ram Buddu (Annu Kapoor) comes in for the investigation. This Hindi speaking Mauritian officer is left second guessing cause nothing the couple is saying is making any sense. While Aparna is disturbed enough to lash out even at the police, Sushant’s mumblings and apologies lead to too many contradictions.

At this point, the audience too is rather skeptical about trusting anyone. Most of the movie is about a slight distrust, a little spooky silence, and a decent amount of thrill. But Abhyankar’s strongest allies are his cast. While the director has cleverly worked around the picturesque, scenic tranquillity of the beaches of Mauritius and pitched his thriller with a commendable contrast to its ambience, sometimes, in a few scenes they do fall awkwardly together. So that leaves him only and only with his really dependable starcast and technicians to play out the thrills for the movie. The cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee is one of the aces in this film. His work makes the film fluid and jolting at the same time.

Manoj Bajpayee does a Sushant Dubey as only he could. He is exceptional in a few scenes and is pleasure to watch him work his chemistry with Tabu - the two are fabulous together. The most complex part of the script is the relationship between Aparna and Sushant. There is attraction yet there is something missing between them. There is an unsaid tension, there is a mistrust, and yet they are both together, making it mighty difficult for the actors but both excel in it. Tabu especially is magnificent. It is a fact that no one can cry onscreen as convincingly as this lissom lady. She looks every bit the distraught mother. She makes us grieve, she makes us think, she makes us doubt and all the while, being absolute herself. There is not one scene where she goes over-the-top!

As a cop, Annu Kapoor is rather an interesting gamble in casting. He is good, very good. If you excuse his French. He is not as convincing as a Mauritian as we would have expected the veteran to be, but those portions are too few and far between. The major crux of the story lies in its actors deluding us from the climax and they do it wonderfully. Given the mettle of bringing his actors to this position lies on Abhyankar’s shoulders he deserves the applause, but is the film really worthy of its actors? NO! The crescendo comes too gradually in the script. Nonetheless, definitely worth a watch!


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