After an office farewell last night, KC, two of my colleagues and I headed for this movie. I knew it's a dark, dark movie but I guess KC didn't and he wanted to walk out midway. Thankfully, I had to drop the colleagues at the guesthouse so the walking out didn't really happen.
Where do I start? I will tell you the story in brief without revealing much.

The movie has been directed by Navdeep Singh (of Manorama six feet under fame), co- produced by Phantom films (a banner whose films are not to be missed) and Anushka Sharma, stars Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumar (plays Mary Kom's husband in that movie) and Deepti Naval.

Meera (Anushka) and Arjun (Neil) are regular Delhi's yuppie couple. They work hard, party harder, live in a huge house, drive a big car etc etc. It could be any of the people I know in Delhi NCR. If anyone asks me how safe Gurgaon is; I just tell them I haven't faced any untoward incidents here so yeah, I don't think it's all that bad in terms of safety. That's probably what Meera thinks till she is driving late to office and gets into a situation which she gets out of by keeping her wits around her. The situation is so normal- Meera has to go to work and drive alone at night. She'd prefer it if Arjun came along but doesn't say so. While Arjun does not want to leave the party and does not even blink about Meera driving alone at night. And then this happens.
Last night KC wanted to leave the theatre and go home but I couldn't because I didn't want to ditch my colleagues late at night. So he said "It's ok. I will leave. You can drop them and come home". And I told him "You want me to sit alone in the theatre for a late night show and drive home alone?" (We were sitting separately because colleagues decided later and we had already booked our tickets by then)

The movie was made more horrifying by a bunch of Harynavi villagers sitting behind us who were talking loudly and cheering. I am too afraid to think what they were cheering for. In fact, I had to go to security at PVR and complain. That's when they piped down a notch. Yes, I am always that person who complains to security on metro when men are travelling in the women's compartment. My male friends from Delhi keep telling me I'll get shot at someday. That's fine by me. I am not dying a coward. Never. Foolish, stupid- Yes. Coward- No. 

Anyway, Meera and Arjun go to the police station and they are told 'Why do you let a woman drive alone late at night'. At some level, Meera does blame Arjun for not accompanying her on the drive and Arjun is not just guilty about it... his ego is hurt. He has that North Indian streak of being protective about his woman. 

The couple decide to take a break and go on a road trip for Meera's b'day. They stop on the way for food and come across Satbir (Darshan Kumar) and his friends who are beating a couple and forcing them into a car. When Arjun intervenes, Satbir slaps him. Meera and Arjun resume their journey but on the way notice Satbir's car driving off into the forest. Arjun, being a typical North Indian male, whose brains are in his balls decides to go after them carrying his gun to avenge the slap. All this while, Meera is begging him to turn back. Thank god, they didn't show Meera is from Mumbai (she is from Bangalore) and so smarter and more level headed. That would be the ultimate WTF.

And that's how they get dragged into the whole honour killing scenario. And nobody can help them- not the cops who are hand in glove, not the villagers or the sarpanch or anyone. 
There comes a point when Meera snaps. She has nothing to lose further and sheds off the victim image. That's when she becomes the hunter and Satbir and group become the victims (or rather the deserved). Thankfully, the Haryanvi group clapped at this. Though KC kept telling me they are clapping when people die since they probably identify with it and all. 

The movie is horrifying for many reasons:

- The whole Gurgaon backdrop. We all know we live with a ticking bomb around us. I still choose to live here and I like this city. But I live here with the hope that the 'real' Gurgaon never touches my life. Driving back late at night after watching this movie is not a good idea at all. Thankfully, we had company and our house is not very far from the theatre. But if I had to drive to Sohna road or another remote place like that, I would be very, very scared. Sohna road sucks, man. How do people live there? 
- The background sound. Gives it a very eerie effect. Very. Very very. 

- Honour killing. Just like there are good and bad men, there are good and bad parents. And you'll never know whether parents are 'bad' till you test them out. And you'll never know whether they are into honour killing or not till you've married against their wishes. Honour killing is all around us... we read about it in the newspapers... we know whole villages who support this shit... there are NGOs which help couples elope and get married safely... it's right here... somewhere. Did this thought strike me when I was getting married? Of course!!! I was careful enough to not give my passport to KC and his parents (just in case) and not give my parents all the details about where we were getting married (just in case). Always trust with your eyes open and your wits around you. The bastard who said 'trust blindly' is probably just blind. 

- The bunch of Haryanvi guys didn't make the experience any better. If this movie was about Mumbai, there would be protests against it by Shiv Sena supporters and stuff. But in Haryana, people actually think this movie is some kind of a compliment to them. I am not sure which is worse- the protests or the cheers

This is Anushka Sharma's best role till date and she does full justice to it. She just needs to reverse the lip surgery. It makes her lips look worse.
I loved Darshan Kumar. What a great actor. I hope he gets good roles instead of getting stereotyped in 'negative' roles only. I loved him as the supportive husband in Mary Kom too. I think he would be able to carry off a lead role in movies. He is that good. 
Neil Bhoopalam was a big disappointment. I loved this guy in Hamlet :The Clown Prince. He is so good on stage but in the movie- he just doesn't seem all that good. I am glad he has a short role, I don't think he'd be able to match Anushka's level of acting. 

This is an edge of the seat kind of movie. Every moment something happens and it's never good. There is no comic relief or romance or singing and dancing. And it's hard to watch. It's gruesome. It's makes you flinch. You want to walk away. But don't. Don't walk away. Watch it. 

I don't think I can bear to watch it again. It's like a horror movie where the horror never ends. It's made worse by the fact that the horror exists- around us, in real life.
And it made me wonder. When faced with such a situation- what would I do? Fight or flight? What would be my body and mind's natural reaction? 
I hope I never find out. 


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