1) A Vishal Bharadwaj film – Yay!!
2) Priyanka Chopra – Super hot
3) Usha Uthup singing ‘Daaarrrling’ – Energetic and lively
6) Look of the film – Dark and Interesting
7) La Belle Dame Sans Merci – Super exciting
These were my 7 reasons to make sure I caught the film in its first week. Actually, I would have preferred catching it the day it released to avoid speculation and reviews. However that didn’t happen. I went after a few days.
Vishal Bharadwaj had managed to grab my attention from the first scene. Bang on target. Camera angle, makeup, shot, scene – everything was just so captivating. There was not a single speculation that the movie would be bad. Sussanna Anne Maria (Priyanka Chopra) was suspiciously dead after killing 6 of her husband’s and the legal proceedings had started to confirm the same. Slowly, they show the man who is narrating the tale, Arun (Vivaan Shah). A secret admirer of Sahib aka Sussanna since childhood, Arun stands witness to all the madness that Sahib goes through in her life.
The first husband, Major Rodriguez (played by Neil Nitin Mukesh) is absolutely stunning looking. Seems chivalrous, upright and handsome and then comes out the dark side in him. I will not narrate more here. All I can say is he oozing with sensuality and has done a great job of what has been given to him. If this was not enough for all the women, there was John Abraham who came in next. Need I even say more? Well, one can only salivate out of unending passion and hotness that the filmmaker is throwing at his audience. Jimmy (John) gels so well into his role of a rock star who obviously over time gets influenced by drugs, women and sex. Mind you, all the while, not one of them in the hall, I’m sure, has stopped admiring Priyanka Chopra. The male testosterone levels would have reached a totally new high. She is oozing with sex appeal here as she is at her peak then. You would just want to bid farewell to Sheila and Munni and welcome this new ‘Darrrrllliiinnng’ with open arms and open everything else.
Then there is a slight drop in the hotness quotient both for men and women. Well, maybe it was time to stimulate ones intellectual senses as there came on a character actor – Musafir (played by Irfan Khan), a poet residing in Kashmir professing his religion and values. Obviously love is blind and senseless, so we now see the ultra glam Sussie turn into a fully glad Sultana. Just when you get to know this man, he is dead and it’s time for the next one! This also means that the oomph factor is back. Yea, age only made Sussanna more appealing. For the women, there is white skin that is introduced through the character of Nicholas, a Russian lover. He comes across as a diehard Bollywood styled romantic who impresses women with his ‘filmy’ dialogues (easiest way to get to an Indian woman’s heart). He wins her heart by saying ‘Mere Paas Maa Hai’!!! Could she not fall in love. Poor woman. She just manages to disappoint her own self time and again. In between their love story is when song comes ‘Darling’ comes. Influenced heavily by Russian culture and music the song just elevates ones mood and makes you fall in love with all including Usha Uthup who has been playing the role of Maggi aunty until now and supporting Sussanna all through.
So we are done with 4. Keematlal (Anu Kapoor) who had made his entry a while ago comes back to thrill the audience. He’s perpetually to drop off his pants and make love to temptress that he sees in Sussanna. Age has only made him crave for more sex. Call it age, boredom with the same woman, greed or plain temptation – he tries hard to satisfy himself and make sure he manages to stay upright throughout his sexual endeavor. Afterall, men have their own issues and difficulties! Finally, there is another stalwart – Modhu da (Naseerudin Shah) who knows well that every woman is looking out for that extra caring man. All she needs is to make sure she has a provider (not necessarily monitory but emotionally) in her man. His ascent and dialect reflect Bengal in entirety. However, he too had a different fate written.
Caught in between all of this is poor old Sussanna. Well, aging gracefully, she makes it very hard for one to say that a woman loses her charm with age. She is an object of desire at all times and any age. Transforming herself with time, age and husband, Sussanna makes you wonder how a wrong man can make life miserable for a woman.
Sharp and crisp dialogues makes things crystal clear. Sussanna was different and how – well aptly narrated when she had a choice of taking a new route to avoid being troubled by a dog, she didn’t. She chose to shoot the dog. Sussanna never changes her way of life. She just kills anyone who comes in between. That’s how bold and blunt the film is; not just with dialogues but even with its visuals. Scenes of death that set the tone for the film are quite in the face. I would also like to mention the depiction of a milky white cat running on harsh snow. Somehow that also made me think twice if I were to take this on face value and go a little deeper and try and analyse the shot!
The ending is something that will surprise you because it has the scene that had gained immense popularity during the promotions – ‘And this time I will drink his blood’. It ends where it almost began. Bharwadwaj, gets us back to the opening scene and puts everything together.
I absolutely loved the film for its darkness, romance, comedy and narration. It is a must watch and yea, have some patience. Let the darkness engulf you. You will surely enjoy the lack-luster and lack-romance life of a woman seems to be gifted umpteen times with love, luck, sex and husbands.
Finally, my 7 reasons to love the film:
1) Priyanka Chopra – Brilliant timing
2) Vishal Bharadwaj – Another Omkara and Maqbool
3) John Abraham – Reminded me of Charlie from Lost
4) Usha Uthup – Lovely acting and yes, ‘Daarrrrllliinng’
5) Neith Nithin Mukhesh – Captivating despite being handicapped
6) Parts of the film were shot at Polybetta (Coorg) – The Kannadiga in me is super happy
7) Supporting cast – MIND BLOWING