Anurag Kashyap may just be the lone torch bearer of all things unique and unconventional in Hindi cinema. The successful filmmaker who struggled hard enough to find his niche as a filmmaker is now lending his name to promote unconventional concepts and upcoming filmmakers to bring their talent to fore. And once again the filmmaker pushes the boundaries of filmmaking by presenting India's first collaborative feature film The Last Act.
A psychopath commits a crime, leaving 12 clues around the corpse. The clues trace down to 12 different cities including the likes of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Kalyan, Pune, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Hissar, Lucknow, Chennai and Gwalior. How the cops across these cities try to make sense of the clues left behind and solves the murder mystery follows in a series of 12 short films.
Quite like the international project The Owner that revolves around a backpack's journey across 5 continents and has been directed by 25 filmmakers, The Last Act too is an amalgam of 12 short stories directed separately by 12 filmmakers but weaves together by a common thread of a murder mystery.
Anurag Kashyap works out the basic plot and leaves it on Asmit Pathare, one amongst the 12 directors who was also one amongst the 25 filmmakers of The Owner to bring it all together. Asmit shapes the first and the last piece of the film that leads to the culmination of the plot. The filmmaker's brilliance can be seen in the way he sums up the investigation carried out by cops from across the cities. There's pathos and relatability in the way Asmit projects Chandu's (Shreyas Pandit) portions towards the end.
Although, Anurag has hindpicked the 11 filmmakers from the 500 entries, not all assure you a great narration of events. While the portions of Mumbai directed by Asmit Pathare, Kalyan by Tejas Joshi and Delhi by Nijo-Rohit deserve to be lauded, the stories of Pune by Jagannathan Krishnan and Chandigarh by Kabir Chowdhry are so abstract that one really has to stress the brain cells to make sense of the situation.
Blame it on the fast paced editing of the film or the abstract tracks that come about, one really has to stress their brain cells to put the pieces of the film together. Even at that, some questions about the film still remain unanswered and leave you to ponder.
Courtesy the placement of all stories in different parts of the country, the various cultures of the nation get captured aesthetically. Even the cast including the likes of Saurabh Shukla, Shreyas Pandit among many others being chosen for all parts is just perfect.
To sum it up, The Last Act is a unique and laudable concept of an interesting filmmaking technique with an equally intriguing plot. Worth a watch.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(3 / 5) : Good