A Short Film Written & Directed by Imtiaz Ali
Starring Pavail Gulati,Shreya Choudhary
Rating: *(1 Star)
Apart from a very engaging actor Pavail Gulati, Imtiaz Ali’s new short-film The Other Way has only one takeway at the end: the realization that the director needs to take a long break from filmmaking.
Perhaps Imtiaz needs to grow a garden for some time. Just to see what real creativity is all about. As a movie maker he seems to have hit a massive roadblock, what with his last two feature films Tamasha and When Harry Met Sejal turning out to be major disappointments from a director who once gave us the sparkling Socha Na Tha, the life-changing Jab We Met and the underratedLove Aaj Kal.
Imtiaz wants us to believe that that love aaj kal, is like that only. Young people afraid of commitment to long-lasting relationships. This theme which runs, nay limps, through all his recent film reaches a kind of absurdist acme in The Other Way(a title which on some level implies the director’s movement away from the seriousness, albeit a flawed seriousness, of Highway).
The Other Way is not only short , it’s also stupid to the point of being annoying. The two main characters are a young footloose photographer (played effectively by Pavail Gulati) and a could-be runaway bride(Shreya Chudhary). The girl who gallivants with a stranger moments from the mandap, is so daft, you want to shake her by her shoulders to remind her that love, marriage, commitment are no ideas to be played around with.
Not that it is her fault. Imtiaz Ali’s whose drawling voiceover we hear throughout the 10-min film(why does the director need to explain such a short film?!) pulls the two characters through an embarrassing adventure that can best described as Jab Geet MetSejal. The female protagonist is as headstrong as Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met but as misguided in her zest for life as AnushkaSharma in Jab Harry Mery Sejal.It’s obvious her parents didn’t teach her that life is not only about doing what an individual wants, it’s also about being considerate towards the feelings of those who matter in your life.
Utterly selfcentred she takes off a wild safari of selfdiscovery on the eve of her marriage. The director seems to enjoy creating protagonists who have no sense of a social responsibility.To add to the feeling of a disheartening pandemonium of priorities the story is narrated to us backwards. That is to say, the film starts at the end and ends at the beginning.
I say, whatever you do with such pretentious garbage , it will only end at one place. In the pits. The title is actually a warning forImtiaz Ali’s admirers. Look The Other Way.