Feature Name: Ray
Cast: Ali Fazal, Shruthy Menon, Shweta Basu Prasad (Forget Me Not); Kay Kay Menon (Bahrupiya) ; Manoj Bajpayee, Gajaraj Rao (Hungama Kyon Hain Barpa); Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Radhika Madan (Spotlight).
Directors: Srijit Mukherjee (Forget Me Not, Bahrupiya), Abhishek Chaubey (Hungama Kyon Hain Barapa), Vasan Bala (Spotlight)
Streaming on: Netflix
Ray brings brilliant writers and four of his short tales were filmed in a four-episode anthology named Ray, which is now available on Netflix. The work, which was handled by three directors, has potential for development in its organisation, writing, and editing. Several of the performances stand out.
Forget Me Not:
In Srijit Mukherji’s Forget Me Not, Ali Fazal plays Ipsit. As a handsome, debonair, and very brilliant business partner who arrogantly boasts of having a never-failing memory, he runs into a personal and professional tragedy planned by someone he trusts. He encounters a lady in a pub one evening who tells him they had a sexual affair in a hotel near the Ajanta Caves. Despite the woman’s detailed account of the meeting, Ipsit has no recollection of it. This part loses coherence at the conclusion, and Shweta Basu Prasad’s performance as Ipsit’s assistant, Maggie, is a little too wooden.
In Mukherji’s other episode, Bahrupiya, Kay Kay Menon plays a movie makeup artist who uses his abilities to crush his enemies but soon finds himself defenceless. Menon is not as terrible as Indrashish, who tries to modify his look by utilising various types of prosthetics. However, he is unprepared for the devastating repercussions.
Hungama Kyon Hai Barpa:
Hungama Kyon Hai Barpa by Abhishek Chaubey addresses a highly difficult illness, kleptomania. This section is the most interesting, as it is shot nearly entirely inside a first-class airconditioned coupe (I couldn’t believe that A/C coaches are that posh). Musafir Ali (Manoj Bajpayee) is surprised to find Baig (Gajraj Rao) travelling with him. Ali, a kleptomaniac, recalls stealing a beautiful dress watch from Baig 10 years ago. Baig doesn’t appear to recall the encounter, and the ending surprise is fantastic. Chaubey’s episode has been handled with great care, and Bajpayee is a terrific actor with an incredible range. I recall him as a frightened homosexual in Aligarh, a cunning young man attempting to destabilise the system in Satyagraha, a psychological wreck locked inside a room in Gali Guleiyan, and a merciless Chambal dacoit in Sonchiriya. Rao is also fantastic as someone who can act quickly and convincingly.
Vasan Bala discusses religion against the film in Spotlight, which differs significantly from Ray’s Ghanshatru, a beautiful perspective on religion vs science rather than entertainment. Adapted to Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People, Ray’s work stars the late Soumitra Chatterjee as a medical expert who tries to persuade locals that temple prasad is to blame for an outbreak of an epidemic. Spotlight follows the life of Vikram (Harshvardhan Kapoor), a film star who becomes enraged when he discovers that the sadhvi, Divya Didi (Radhika Madan), pulls a far larger crowd in the hotel where he is staying than he could ever dream for. The climax is engrossing and reveals Didi’s true nature. The performance of Chandan Roy Sanyal as Vikram’s agent, Robby, overshadows the rest of the ensemble. Spotlight may be worth seeing only for the actor.
We with all our heart give this film 3.5 stars. In this film all the actors have raise the bar high with their charismatic presence and performance on screen.