The Apartment

Cast:Rohit Roy, Tanushree Dutta, Neetu Chandra, Anupam Kher

Director: Jag Mundhra


When you see an excessively simple lass, oiled hair bound in two plaits, dupatta draped around her, getting off a train in Mumbai, your antennae should go up. You should know that this is a girl who's too good to be true, that within a heartbeat, she will turn around, and her simper will turn into a snarl.

Some years ago, Hollywood had put out a film called ` Single White Female', a highly effective thriller featuring two girls: one of whom is looking for a roommate, and the other who shows up as a perfect candidate. The latter is sweet and demure, and fits right in, and then slowly, things start to go sour.

Jag Mundhra's `The Apartment' is a clear ripoff. Tanushree Dutta plays an airhostess with twin problems: she's got a flat, but not enough money to make the rent; she's got a boyfriend (Roy) who is willing to stump up, but she's the jealous sort, not being able to bear seeing him with anyone else. Of course they have a lover's tiff, and of course the result is that he's out, and eager new girl (Chandra) is in. It's the same girl who'd got off the train in the first shot. Aha.

Mundhra's strength used to be that he made movies that reflected societal concerns. In his last outing, Aishwarya Rai was presented to the world as a battered wife ('Provoked'); an earlier film had Nandita Das as a disadvantaged rural woman who fights for her rights (`Bawandar'). You couldn't accuse him of sophistication, but he did know how to tell a tale. Now it looks as if it was all in the past

Apart from the fact that it is stolen, `The Apartment' suffers from bland acting, and superfluous songs: Neetu Chandra is the only one who takes advantage of Mundhra's latest. She shows once again she can emote, which you can't accuse her co-stars of, but this is the kind of film that you watch on and off. More off than on.

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