Reviewing the Reviews: Mod

17 Oct,2011


Key Cast: Ayesha Takia Azmi, Rannvijay Singh Singha, Raghubir Yadav, Tanve Azmi, Ananth Mahadevan

Written and Directed By: Nagesh Kukunoor

Produced By: Sujit Kumar Singh, Elahe Hiptoola


In the glut of releases this week, Mod is the pick, simply because Nagesh Kukunoor is the director, and even though his last few films have been heart-breakingly bad, there are still hopes from the man who made Hyderabed Blues and Dor.

The title is confusing, most read it as the abbreviation of modern, when it is intended to mean turn. Most critics, perhaps relieved that it wasn’t as awful as Kukunoor’s Bombay to Bangkok, found good things to say about it. Readers would be confused, however, when ratings range from one to three and a half. What is slightly off-putting that Kukunoor has given up on originality. This one too, is taken from Korean film, Keeping Time.

Mayank Shekhar of the Hindustan Times gives it one and a half stars, but perhaps nails it when he writes, “Most still recall Kukunoor for Hyderabad Blues (1998), a game-changer in low-budget Indian films, which could instruct and delight at the same time. He has since become a pure genre filmmaker. Which is truly what separates the so-called “indie” from the supposed hard-core mainstream. Traditional Bollywood directors pack in every genre into one movie, alternating action with romance, comedy, drama etc. “Cutting edge”, “independent”, “Hindie”, potentially global “crossovers” would be too flatulent an epithet for those who don’t do that. But they don’t produce anything extraordinarily personal, astonishingly moving or real, either.”

Trade journalist Komal Nahata on gives it one star and writes, “On the whole, Mod may win critical acclaim but it will remain a dull fare at the box-office, its poor initial and the dull pre-Diwali days only adding to its problems.”

Another trade man, Taran Adarsh, writing in gives it two stars and states, “Mod is an emotional love story of two completely mismatched people – a genre Kukunoor has never tackled earlier. In fact, in his earlier movies, love was a part of the main plot, but it’s the central theme this time. Mod boasts of an interesting idea and even Kukunoor’s mature handling of the material needs to be lauded, but the film suffers for two reasons – it unfolds at a sluggish/lethargic pace and is prolonged.”

Rajeev Masand on IBNLive goes with two stars but is brutal. “Mod is a test of your patience because the screenplay is a complete drag. The film unfolds lazily well after the twist has been revealed; and the central conceit isn’t even true to its own logic. There are plot holes the size of craters here. Ayesha Takia has a calming presence, but Ranvijay Singha, despite his earnest efforts, simply doesn’t have the chops to carry off such a complex part… Let down by sloppy writing, this is one hard slog.”

Aakanksha Naval-Shetye and Soumyadipta Banerjee of DNA, however, give it three stars and say, “The film feels straight out of a book of short stories and has a certain old-world charm. The downside is that everything is too picture perfect here, and things just fall into place rather conveniently towards the end. The music doesn’t help much. The slow pace especially in the first half drags on forever, even though thankfully Ayesha’s cutesy act won’t let you complain too much.”

Surprisingly, Nikhat Kazmi of the Times Of India gives it a low (by her standard) two and a half stars. “It’s a sweet, small and simple film spilling over with charming locales and charming people too. It’s the pace of the film that takes its toll on you. Understandably, life follows a languid rhythm on the hills and cannot move at lightning speed. But hey, a film’s got to have sufficient movement and pace to keep the drama flowing. Here, the events unfold with extenuating lethargy and test your patience time and again.”

Ganesh Nadar writing in gives it two stars. “Out of 12 reels, 10 are focused on Ayesha (Takia). The rest of the cast have to make do with the remaining two. All one can say of the hero is that many a time one is left wondering why he does what he does, and many a time he looks like he doesn’t know why he does what he does. It’s a lovely story with great actors, and great scenery. What screws it up is the slow movement. You really have to have patience to watch the movie or be happy just to watch Ayesha. Wish director Nagesh Kukunoor had someone to tell him that slow and steady doesn’t win races any more. You have to be fast and racy. A must-see for Ayesha fans; the rest can give it a miss.”

The level-headed Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express says, “It’s so obvious that Andy is not who he says he is that you wonder why Kukunoor takes so long to get to the point. But then, he needs to pause to show off all the nice waterfalls and the rocks and the winding roads. The scenery is fine only for a bit, but then gets overtaken by situations which you can see a mile off. You know that that Andy is disturbed much before the doctor (Mahadevan) pronounces his diagnosis. The reason for his being the way he is unspools with no surprises. Takia is her familiar wholesome-girl-next-door but has to shoulder too much of the film, and Rannvijay is one-tone.”

The unsigned review goes off on a tangent: “Mod is like a gentle sonnet played on a cosy winter morning. It is the tenderest love story in ages with a central performance by Ayesha Takia that strikes a chord deep in your heart. It’s a film you want to adopt, embrace and hold close to your heart.”

No wonder audiences go by friends’ tweets or word of mouth to decide on which movie to watch!

Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.