Subhash Jha: “The Film Emotional Atyachar is a wicked and wacky road movie”

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Every character in debutant director Akshay Shere’s savage, funny, bitter, and violent ode to the road movie wants money. Sometimes they also crave sex. For example there’s this incidental character (the film has drug dealers, racketeers, and criminals crawling out of every frame) who’s force-doped by Ravi Kissen (very at-home playing the revved-up psycho).

The zonked-out sociopath asks Kissen, “Koi launadiya melegi, kya?”

You hope for his sake he never runs into Kalki Koechlin. There is one very smart and manipulative laundiya in this wicked and wacky road movie. Koechlin seems to enjoy herself playing the woman on the run… She ain’t no nun. And boy, does she have fun! She is the casino-owner Abhimanyu Singh’s keep. But happily gets kidnapped by the extortionists Ranvir-Vinay duo (yes, they are back together again!). Then when she runs into Mohit Ahlawat and his backseat wealth she snuggles up to him as though she was Marilyn Monroe on speed.

Speed is paramount to the mounting tension in Emotional Atyachar. Everyone is in a hurry to get to the end of the road. Short-cuts are most welcome. The characters range from the strange to the deranged. This is quintessential Quentin Tarantino territory soaked in the oozing blood of Vishal Bhardwaj’s storytelling. Add a dash of cruel humour (e.g a fat man dying on the backseat whose friend, played by Jimmy Viryani, cuts open an artery while trying to remove the bullet). And you have a work that gets its target audience charged up and ready to go.

A hurried impatient narrative edited with brutal austerity Emotion Atyachar is not every one’s cup of tea. Really, one doesn’t see those who will flock for Emotion Atyachar for this strange tale of blood gore and vendetta situated in the greyest moral zone of the modern wounded (and forever wounding) civilization.

While the screenwriting(Bhavini Bheda)and dialogues(Kartik Krishnan, Bheda) are quite often funny in a weird and quip-friendly kind of way, the performances are uniformly engaging. Ravi Kissen and Abhimanyu Singh are the pick of the lot. But the unknown theatre actor Anand Tiwari who makes the mistake of offering the wounded Ahlawat a lift on the deserted Goa-Mumbai highway, and who plays the only morally conscious character, is outstanding.

The plot is selfconsciously complicated. The wheelerdealers who swish in and out of the plot charting a bloody course are not quite the people you want to meet at a party let alone on a deserted highway. They don’t seem to know the knack of quitting while they are ahead.

Fortunately, the film does.

Rating: **

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