'Test Paper' looks and feels like one of those television sitcoms that drag on for years and years; only that it has been compressed into a running time of one hundred and sixteen minutes.
'Test Paper' is a film that merits attention solely due to the fact that it has ushered in a fresh approach to film marketing. Being the first sponsored film ever in the history of world cinema (as claimed by the makers), this film invites viewers to watch the film free of cost.
Unfortunately, the film as such is unable to maintain the euphoria that the marketing strategy has generated. 'Test Paper' looks and feels like one of those television sitcoms that drag on for years and years; only that it has been compressed into a running time of one hundred and sixteen minutes.
The film tells the story of Poornima (Maheshwari), a young danseuse who tries hard to make both ends meet with her job at the dancing school. A millionaire doctor (Munna) is smitten by her charms and asks her hand in marriage. When he flies off to the UK for higher studies, leaving her behind all alone with his family, Poornima is distraught.
Around midpoint, 'Test Paper' turns into a murder mystery that shows a few signs of picking up. But then the revelations that follow are too disappointing, and the air of intrigue that is built up goes up in thin air, in a matter of minutes.
There is a song that props in at an unbelievably late hour that has you gaping in amazement! The film, as it is, is narrated in a series of flashbacks, and with plenty of overlapping here and there, it turns irrevocably tiresome after a while.
I wouldn't think twice before stating that the script is what ruins it all. For one, the story sounds as old as the hills, and with none of the sequences or happenstances appearing convincing or interesting, it's not long before the 'Test Paper' ends up a real disaster.
Even at such an incredibly short running time, 'Test Paper' does seem drawn out and shows no signs of ending. Perhaps the chief reason for it is that none of what is being told manages to tug at your heart strings in any manner whatsoever.
Sometimes it so happens that there might not be anything offensive as such about a film, and yet you would end up giving it a thumbs down for a million reasons. You don't have to watch all around for finding the reasons; they lie splattered all around.
There is nothing terrible about the performances though. Jagadeesh, Maheshwari and Munna are at their best, though I should admit, it isn't saying much, given the very peculiar script that they are asked to act out.
I wonder if there are takers for such slipshod tales any more. I wonder if someone would still be interested in the travails of a poor girl in the hands of a step mother. I wonder if this is a 'Test Paper' that is worth taking.
1.5 out of 5 (Poor, A Few Good Parts)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Okay
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good