Love You To Death

Madcap characters in SoBo do whacky things.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Published:February 3, 2012 6:40 pm

Cast: Chandan Roy Sanyal,Yuki Ellias,Sheeba Chaddha,Sohrab Ardeshir,Nicholas Brown

Director: Rafeeq Ellias

Rating: **

Madcap characters in SoBo (South Bombay),Doing Whacky Things,Speaking Hinglish. The formula has been around,but it’s always up for some re-jigging. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Rafeeq Ellias’s debut feature gives us an heiress with her doggie,her non-performing asset of a husband with his murderous mommy,his singing sexpert with his quartet. Also,a tarot-card reader with her Elvis-lovin’ lover,a theatre-director who doubles up as a dispenser of ‘suparis’,a muscle-bound jock with a thing for the environment,and a Russian-Israeli hood who goes about saying Mamma Mia.

They all sound so much fun. But not all of them are,and not all the film is. ‘Love You To Death’ has a great premise,but the execution makes much of it inert. Roy Sanyal,who made an impressive debut with ‘Kaminey’ and followed through with a nice turn in ‘Faltu’,is not half as effective here. Which could be down to the fact that he is mostly saddled with a hopelessly misused Suhasini Mulay: as a mother-in-law from hell with a killing instinct,she comes off plain wrong. When he is advising despondent men about ‘missile failure’ in impeccable Parsi diction,Sohrab Ardeshir is fine,but not when he is warbling a dirty ditty. This should have been much more hilarious than it is.

And that’s pretty much the story with LYTD,whose best parts are two ladies. The ever-reliable Sheeba Chaddha makes for a nicely quirky reader-of-tea leaves and tarot,enjoying her crystals and cards and smoky-voiced tips to debutant lead actress Yuki Ellias. Right from the top of her manicured hair,to the way she clutches her lapdog,from her initial bewilderment as a stressed-out-by-her-relationship wife to her switch as the knowing,getting-in-on-the-game gal,Ms Ellias is pitch perfect. So is the zany,zippy climax. If the rest of it had matched up,LYTD would have been a riot.

shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com

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