Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bollywood Movie Review: Woodstock Villa

Cast: Sikander Kher, Neha Uberoi, Boman Irani, Anupama Verma, Gulshan Grover, Gaurav Gera, Arbaaz Khan, Shakti
Kapoor, Sachin Khedekar

Music Director: Aryans , Shibani Kashyap, Anu Malik
Producer: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Sanjay Gupta
Director: Hansal Mehta
Banner: White Feather Films

In the tradition of film noir that is guaranteed to shock, thrill and surprise. A compelling film from director Hansal Mehta about swiftly changing moralities in today's world. After a successful businessman's stunning wife disappears, hostile and taunting ransom demands follow. As the true nature of stakes for the captor and his captives unfold, Woodstock Villa lithely transforms from a precision neo noir into a chilling and shocking thriller, and ultimately into a vivid, invigorating, icy masterpiece of murder, mystery and suspense.

The film tells the story of a jobless youth Samir (Sikander) who sleeps around with his ex-boss’s wife (which explains why he’s jobless). He lives in a rented apartment but can’t pay the rent and he owes money to a don who frequently gives him “tonic” (read thrashing) for not paying the dues.

At a discotheque, he falls for a stunner named Zara ( Neha Oberoi ), who makes him an unusual proposal to kidnap her because she wants to test her husband’s love. And the husband here happens to be a rich businessman, Jatin Kampani ( Arbaaz Khan ).Hard-pressed with need for money, Samir laps the offer only to find himself in a mess after Zara dies in captivity. He buries the body, erases the evidence, and leaves the city. But then another surprise awaits him.

‘Woodstock Villa’ is one of those movies that try desperately hard to jolt you with repeated twists in the tale. But the way those twists unravel takes the punch out of the plot. For instance, the final twist, when the camera specifically focuses on a bag with money on two different occasions when it changes hands kills the suspense for a discerning viewer.To put it in other words, ‘Woodstock Villa’ is a vain and superficial work of cinema.Thankfully, Sikander Kher is the silver lining in this dark enterprise. The guy has it in him to carry a movie on his sole shoulders. There are a few moments in the movie that show glimpses of his potential. It is a pity
that ‘Woodstock Villa’ is his launchpad. Neha Oberoi is eye-catching and manages her part without hamming. Arbaaz Khan has at last begun to act in the real sense of the word. Sanjay Dutt ’s song seems deliberately squeezed in the narrative.

‘Woodstock Villa’ is a film that will appeal to those who are a sucker for style. Those who want substance should better steer clear of this movie.

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