After a really long time I got to see a movie in the ’plex. Not only that, I got to see back-to-back movies, which was something of a regularity back in college days. The first one was Straight starring Vinay Pathak & Gul Panag alongwith newcomers Anuj Chaudhry & Siddharth Makkar.
Straight is a nice n’ breezy comedy about a confused man who doubts his sexuality after he gets rejected at the altar and has an unfortunate cosy moment with a worker at his restaurant. Pinu Patel (Vinay Pathak) is an NRI settled in London and runs an Indian restaurant. He has recently faced the ignominy of his would-be-bride running away before the wedding and that plants seeds of being unwanted by women in his mind. His professional life is breezed up by the entrance of a stand up comedian cum cook Kamlesh (Anuj Chaudhry) and a caricature artiste cum accountant Renu (Gul Panag). His friendship with both of them blossoms until an unfortunate moment of unforeseen intimacy causes him to have doubts about his sexual preferences. That’s just a brief gist but you can the entire stuff here (beware of spoilers, btw!)
Vinay Pathak has steadily been moving towards doing solo-hero projects, with Dasvidaniya, Oh My God & now Straight. But whilst his performances in the former ones was exemplary, in Straight he isn’t good enough and hams a lot, esp. at the lovemaking portions. Most of the ‘comical’ scenes are forced upon as and though evoke mirth, are somewhat in-bad-taste. Gul Panag is earnest and could’ve looked oh-so-much-more-beautiful! I hate the make-up man for making her look hideous at times 👿 Of the support cast, Anuj Chaudhri is good as Kamlesh and has a cheerful and friendly persona but his demeanour doesn’t suggest he’s gay (or not!). Siddharth Makkar as Pinu Patel’s cousin brother is the Mr. Fix-it-all and a catalyst to some of the events but why the hell would a Londoner have an Aussie accent? His use of “mate” in almost every sentence is irritating!
There are just the three background songs in the movie and with the exception of saanson ka ruk jaana, none stay with you once you leave the theatre. This is the second movie from director Parvati Balagopalan whose earlier offering was the Milind Soman starrer Rules: Pyaar ka Superhit Formula, which wasn’t that ‘big’ a superhit after all! She tries to score big based on the homosexuality angle and even the promos and teasers seem to indicate a whole lot of gay-or-not dilemma and confusion but that’s not too prevalent in the movie. Also, the Gul Panag – Vinay Pathak romance could’ve been better handled. All said and done, Straight does have few bright moments which are good enough to hold your interest innit, maybe not throughout but some. More than what I got in the second movie I saw…more on that later though!