Mod Hindi Movie Review
The highly acclaimed team of Nagesh Kukunoor and Ayesha Takia that last gave Hindi cinema one of the most laudable films Dor makes a come back on celluloid. Not only does the film happen to be Nagesh's next after the damp squib Aashayein but also is Ayesha's comeback film after her marriage to restauranteur Farhan Azmi. Whether this jodi brings back the accolades that Nagesh deserves and also brings back Ayesha in the filmy marquee or not remains to be seen.
Set in the picturesque hill station Ganga, Mod revolves around Aranya (Ayesha Takia), whose life is surrounded by whacky people, her father - Ashok Mahadeo (Raghuveer Yadav) who is the head of the local fan club of Kishore Kumar, the fiery Gayatri Garg, "GG" (Tanvi Azmi), her aunt, chubby Gangaram (Nikhil Ratnaparkhi), the local shopkeeper who harbors feelings for Aranya.
One day a total stranger, Andy (Rannvijay Singh), lands up at her doorstep to have his watch fixed. He is painfully shy, but keeps returning day after day to have his water logged watch repaired. As payment he leaves a 100 rupee note in the form of an origami swan. Aranya slowly warms up to this quirky stranger and through a series of meetings and against all odds they fall in love.
But who is Andy? Where is he from? And what is his past follows through a few "mods" in the story.
Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor's last attempt of making a big budget film with a big star had completely gone awry. But this time around he goes back to his comfort zone of a small budget film and a simple story of complex minds and once again he manages to please.
There seems no rushed attempt in taking the story forward. Each and every shot has its subtely and slow growing fondness around it which is extremely contagious. Nagesh gets the small town setting near perfect and with a soothing serenity wins audience's hearts.
The first half of the film goes by very easily with the viewers engulfed in the old world charm as the plot with an interesting twist unfurls. However, it's the second half that works against the hightened expectations from the first half.
Nagesh's hold over the film takes a beating in the second half as the film starts dwindling into boredom and hackeyned tripeness. The way Aranya tries to tackle Andy's illness is very amateurish and lightly dealt with. The entire medical aspect of the film is also dealt with a very juvenile manner which eventually makes you mouth "after all it's a Bollywood film". And the climax is completely hackeneyed and so unexpected that it leaves you disappointed.
Had it not been for the cinematography by Chirantan Das, Mod wouldn't have had the magic around it. Each and every frame in the film is capture with poetic brilliance. Even the background score Tapas Relia is pleasing. Though the music could've been better and not haphazardly placed in the film.
A fairy tale real-life wedding doesn't really appear to have affected Ayesha Takia's acting prowess. The actress is sweet, infectious and completely in command of her character-sketch. What's surprising is Rannvijay Singh's debut. The actor completely wins everyone's heart with his brilliant performance. Owe it to the filmmaker who effectively brings out the best from his actors.
Ignoring the weak second half, Mod still can make for a pleasing watch only because of the scenic beauty and brilliant performances.