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Neeraj Pandey’s New Short Film With  Manoj Bajpai Is A Savage Joke On Adultery

When a  marriage breaks two families fall apart . Nonetheless, we can see the humour of adultery provided we haven’t been caught with our pants down and  even if we have, director Neeraj Pandey in his new short film entitled Ouch sees the joke in a woman calling off her extra-marital affair after the man she’s involved with has already confessed to his extra-marital liaison and has asked  his wife for a divorce.

“You can’t do this to me!”  is perhaps a mild reaction to how Manoj Bajpai feels after Pooja Chopra call of their clandestine relationship. They, we are told in passing, work in the same office.

Overtime gets a befitting definition.

Now the  Other Woman(as the character was called during the days of  Rekha and Silsila) played by PoojaChopra confesses she wants out.

“I can’t go through this,” she moans in the opposite of pleasure.

Manoj playing the jilted lover Vinay looks as aghast and stricken as he must have when told he’s lost the National award for Aligarh.  But this isn’t the dark edgy world of alternate sexuality. This is  good old adultery made fun and digestible by Neeraj Pandey who was lately seen giving Dhoni’s life a commercial spin.

The closest we came to turning adultery into a joke was B R Chopra’s Pati Patni Aur Woh .Sanjeev Kunar’s impeccable comic timing made the  discomfort of infidelity bearable. Manoj  Bajpai brings an anguishedpanickstriken attitude to his unfaithful husband’s role. This is what the black buck must have looked like when it met Salman Khan  .

There is a sly innuendo in his attitude. While sharing intense emotional thoughts with  the wife(not his) in a hotel suite he darts a glance towards the bedroom and the bed and asks with put-on  casualness  her if she wants to….ummm….relax .But Priya—that’s the wife who walks in with a suitcase—has other plans. She  wants to return to her marriage and husband and children.

Then why the suitcase? I will leave the explanation for viewers to watch and chuckle over. Ouch does  have it amusing bouts  when the unfaithful husband and the unfaithful wife attempt to create a leap of faith in their relationship. But it’s a losing struggle. Priya wants out.

Where does that leave Vinay? With one livid wife at home, one disgruntled Mummyji on phone and a newly-purchased suitcase in the hotel lobby.

This is a change of mood and pace for director Neeraj Pandey and actor Manoj Bajpai . Both shed their ‘serious’ tag to have some serious fun with the theme of adultery. But at a time when marriage as an institution is taking a serious beating I am not too sure if laughter is the best medicine.

Rating: **(2 stars)

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