Via Darjeeling Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film
Via Darjeeling has its moments, but not enough to deserve your hard earned money.
Jun 27, 2008 By Ashok Nayak

The star cast of Via Darjeeling pushed me to the nearby multiplex, to make it the third movie I watched today. How can I miss a movie that has actors like Vinay Pathak, Kay Kay Menon, Rajat Kapoor and I like Sandhya Mridul as well. I went in with a lot of expectations to watch a different movie with great performances. Here is my experience.

The story revolves around Ankur (Kay Kay Menon) & Rimli (Sonali Kulkarni), a recently married couple on their honeymoon in Darjeeling. But on the eve of their return to Calcutta, Ankur disappears. The Inspector in charge, Robin Bose, searches high & low, but Ankur is no where to be found. When he questions Rimli, the only clues she is able to give him, are of a taxi driver Ankur had fought with & a mysterious looking man whom she thought was following her throughout their trip in Darjeeling. The mystery returns to Calcutta one night...via Darjeeling. Faces are unmasked and new ones emerge. Two years later, Inspector Bose relates this story to a few friends; they are intrigued by this story, & question him about the outcome. But he has no answers. The friends start gossiping on a rainy night, bantering & discussing the mystery of the missing husband amongst them. Intrigued by this story, they start a tale about the possible outcome and all take part to give their own versions where personalities, motif and professions change. The past and the future come rushing back and the characters in the room blend in to the 'story' themselves giving it a new turn, every time.

Via Darjeeling is set in modern day Calcutta & Darjeeling and is based on an age old Bengali tradition called 'adda' where friends get together in the rains, & exchange stories & gossip, over drinks & dinner.

The film goes through several peaks & twists in its narrative, opening itself up to new meanings, interpretations and solutions, leading from one to another, with some what diverse ends!

Via Darjeeling is a different concept and something different is always good. But the most important thing for a movie is to keep the audience glued to their seats, holding a viewers attention through the entire runtime is the key and that's exactly were Via Darjeeling fails. Some of the stories are good, but what about the Simone Singh story? Also, without revealing much, you could well is extremely disappointed at the end while the credits role.

Coming to the performances, it's disappointing; Kay Kay Menon is brilliant, as always an outstanding performance. Vinay Pathak is average, way below his usual high standard, ditto for Rajat Kapoor. Sonali Kulkarni. Ah... horrible performance, didn't like her one bit. Sandhya Mridul is okay.

Overall, Via Darjeeling has its moments, but not enough to deserve your hard earned money. Skip it, watch it on DVD.

Ashok Nayak