Not A Love Story Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film | Crime
Not A Love Story gets mired by poor story-telling. Despite having a very gruesome and shocking subject, the faulty narrative makes it lose its impact leading to boredom.
Aug 19, 2011 By Mansha Rastogi

Making a film on a real life incident is certainly not easy. First, it's important to get the facts right and second the daunting task to make it entertaining/interesting enough with a rock-solid screenplay. Maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma who has the knack of making even the fictional films look real takes up this daunting task and comes up with Not A Love Story; a film based on the 2008 Neeraj Grover murder case. With excessive opposition being faced by RGV for dealing with such a controversial subject, it only remains to see what kind of treatment the filmmaker gives it.

Anusha Chawla (Mahie Gill) is an aspiring actress who leaves her family, her boyfriend Robin (Deepak Dobriyal) and her hometown Chandigarh to pursue her dreams in Mumbai city. After facing months of struggle and persistence by Robin to come back, Anusha finally gets a role in courtesy a casting director Ashish (Ajay Gehi). Friendship happens between the two and after a drunken party night the two end up sleeping together. The very next day Anusha's possessive boyfriend lands into her apartment and in a fit of rage stabs Ashish to death. Afraid of not being caught, the couple butcher the body into pieces, dumps them into bags and burns it. The dead body comes to haunt them as inspector (Zakir Hussain) nabs the culprit.

Having a ghastly topic such as the brutal and callous murder of Neeraj Grover, one does expect some hard-hitting screenplay from RGV who's had gory and gruesome films like Rakht Charita in the past. However, this time around he completely shifts focus from the slasher element making the film lose its impact. The entire first half fizzles out and even the gruesomeness of cutting the body into small pieces fails to hit you. It's the second half that holds the attention of the audience. With the major murder scene being executed quickly in the first half itself you least expect the second half to be good. But the drama quotient that RGV brings in with crisp editing in the latter part of the film makes the audience glued to it. The best part about the film is that it doesn't try looking out for a judgement. Instead it focuses on the emotions and situations of the couple that take them behind the bars.

RGV's obsession with maverick camera work goes to a whole new level altogether with NALS as he tries to create shots never before seen in Hindi cinema. However, one cannot call them radical and path-breaking because in more cases than it makes your head-spin leaving you nauseous. Even some of the shots are cheap and vulgar with many a leg shots and breast shots.

The background score and music could've been way better. It comes across as very shoddy, loud and jarring. Specially the single track Yai re yai re (from Rangeela) being repeatedly used, as a full-fledged track, as Anusha's ring tone, in slow version in the background etc is so annoying that you either want to chop your ears off or stab the filmmaker for doing so.

On the acting front both Mahie Gill and Deepak Dobriyal deliver outstanding performances. Deepak as the obsessive lover of Anusha deserves applauds for getting into the skin of the character.

All in all courtesy the poor storytelling, Not A Love Story fails to make an impact.

Mansha Rastogi