Shor In The City

Shor in the City

Directors: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK

Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Radhika Apte, Pitobash Tripathy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Girija Oak, Sundeep Kishan, Preeti Desai

Rating: ***

Once upon a time in Mumbai, there lived a bunch of people, trying to hack a life. How many films can match that most generic of descriptors? Don't even ask.

'Shor In The City' is one of those films, yes. But it does its picking up of characters and following them around to see what happens on one climactic day, with skill and style.

What makes 'Shor In The City' an instant clutter-breaker is its darkly comic treatment. It makes you smile because its humour comes from within. It's not grafted. And it's got heart : we feel for the characters. A trio of no-hopers ( Kapoor, Dwivedi, Tripathy) find themselves with a batch of guns, and soon discover that they are not playthings but lethal weapons. An aspiring cricketer ( Kishan) wants money to ease himself into the good books of a selector. His girlfriend ( Oak) is sick of being paraded in front of potential grooms.. A naļve NRI( Ramamurthy) wants to set up a business without taking into account the goons who pay him a call. It's protection fee or bust, his choice. And then everything comes together with a bang on a day when the entire city gets a free pass for maximum noise pollution.

There's very little Bombay in `Shor In The City'. It's a very Mumbai film, with seams  its hustlers and crooks and losers try and use to their advantage : some get by, some don't. There's a bittersweet flavour to this city, which comes through in the film, something that the director duo tried for, and failed, in their previous outing ( '99') which also combined cricket and crooks. There are some nice touches in this ensemble, especially the thread which shows the growing nearness between a near-illiterate hoodlum and his brand new wife.  Paulo Coelho, yes, the very same philosopher so beloved of bumper-stickers, connects the two : this is Tusshar Kapoor in one of his best parts, with Apte shining as his shy bride. The swarthy Sendhil Ramamurthy has a good fit with the too-straight-for-Mumbai entrepreneur bill. Amit Mistry makes a fine dispenser of gun and goons. But the real find of this film is Pitobash Tripathy, whose small-time hood is a delight.

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