In the present state of Hindi film industry, it's actually a difficult task to release documentaries in a commercial space. Worse still, to even expect a massy response from such films. Hence a generic trick is to give documentaries a commercial spin off by fictionalizing it. One such case is that of Forest that deals with man-eating leopards.
Radha (Nandana Sen) and Pritam (Ankur Vikal) are on a vacation in a jungle to sort out their troubled marriage. Radha stumbles upon her ex-lover Abhishek (Jaaved Jaffry) who works as a cop. While the husband and the jilted lover lock horns over the woman in question, we are taken to a side track of a man-eater leopard that is on the loose in the jungles eating up anyone who comes in his sight.
The film starts with a sequence of a leopard stealthily making his way to a kid playing around in the jungles and attacks with a lightning speed. The scene cuts to blood flowing into the river and within no time you are found biting your nails as the title rolls up. However, the moment the actual story starts off, the intensity with which the film took off starts crumbling scene after scene.
The story telling is so jaded, pointless and intellectually unappealing that whatever the filmmaking abilities that go behind making this film go wasted. Otherwise had the storyline weaved meticulously around the threat of a man-eating leopard and his attacks, the thrill quotient that comes about with each of his attacks could've taken the film to another level. One more quality about the film is its length. At 86 minutes exact, the film is short making it easier to sit through.
Some of the sequences in the film are beautifully shot and there seems absolutely no complaint on the technical front, however, it's the plot that leads to bafflement of the audience. There are many a sub-plots in the film hanging loosely with no relevance to the main plot whatsoever.
On the acting front, all characters have an eased English pronunciation hence it doesn't come across too incongruous. Javed Jaffery and Nandana Sen's intimate scene is rather repulsive and far too forced into the film. The two, being good actors, could've done a better job had Ashvin Kumar, the director, focused more on his storyline.
To sum it up, Forest may be technically sound but the entire Save The Tiger campaign it endorses lurks incongruously in the complexity of human relations.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(1.5 / 5) : Poor