Wholly Silly

What would you do when moderately good-looking,insipid,not too young,awfully irritating people meet over a drink and belch out secrets that are blander than they are probably? You yawn and retire for the day.

Written by PiyasreeDasgupta | Published:March 9, 2009 3:43 am

Film: Karma Aur Holi
Director: Manish Gupta
Cast: Sushmita Sen,Ranadeep Hooda,Rati Agnohotri,Suresh Oberoi,Naomi Cambell,Deepal Shaw
Rating: ***
Running at: Inox (Forum,City Centre,Swabhumi)
What would you do when moderately good-looking,insipid,not too young,awfully irritating people meet over a drink and belch out secrets that are blander than they are probably? You yawn and retire for the day. And if you are not exactly the type to wallow over the tickets,that’s exactly what you would be doing if caught up watching Karma And Holi.
Films that revolve around characters and weave an engaging narrative around their stories are not new to Bollywood. While complaints about plot do end up jeopardizing the feel of such films at times,oddities of people do make for a pleasant watch. But you can’t say the same for Manish Gupta’s Karma and Holi.
A Yoga teacher unable to conceive. Her husband who has run into debts trying to sell a dud magazine called Indian Voice which he thinks is ‘the voice of our (the Indian) community’. A pushy chauvinistic doctor and his doormat of a wife. A wannabe Bollywood actor. An aspiring Indian filmmaker stuck with a black girlfriend he cannot marry. A horny,timid teenager,his overpowering mother… Just when you start thinking you’ve got grounds for some interesting storytelling,the director gets his characters sloshed,making them cough up really uninteresting stories which leave you wondering,why have they been kept secrets in the first place.
There’s no credible plot line,and from the very beginning there’s a feeling that the film leads to nowhere. While the film does try at times to explore the urban upwardly-mobile man-woman relationships or immigrant issues,Gupta’s narration is so sketchy that the audience is left fumbling for the meaning of the random incidents.
Sushmita Sen sleepwalks through the role of a sophisticated,independent yoga teacher yearning for a child. Randeep Hooda who plays her husband doesn’t look a bit like a magazine editor,and except from mouthing a couple of mugged dialogues he does nothing in the film to come across journalist committed to the cause of the immigrant community. It’s a pity that a talented actor like Suchitra Krishnamurty is wasted in a bit role as hers.
If you are wondering what has Holi to do with mostly idle people wallowing in self pity — the director gives the fun festival a metaphorical twist. The whole confession business happens on a pre-Holi dinner during a truth and dare game! For the audience at least,Holi turns out to be a welcome phenomenon. Because the film ends with it.

P.S. And as for Naomi Campbell… she’s well,there.

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