One Friday Night(Streaming on JioCinema)
Manish Gupta’s One Friday Night could have been our own Fatal Attraction. Instead it ends up making the Other Woman more a victim than a predator.
Having said that, the entire movement of the thriller suggests there were seeds of a reasonably engaging extra-marital story. But the outcome is neither dark nor brave, just damp soggy and diluted.
Soggy reminds me , the whole film is shot in the pouring rain. This torrential affectation does lend the storytelling a certain dramatic tension, sadly lacking in other areas of the presentation. The adulterous man Ram Verma(Anand Milind) remains,who is largely in a semi-comatose condition, letting his wife Lata(referred to as ‘Lataji’ all through , reminding us of the Singing Goddess) and his sinfully young mistress Niru(Vidhi Chitalia) do all the heavy lifting,in more ways than one.
The barb-re-barb exchanges between the two women with the younger woman bravely insisting Ram Verma loves her and not the wife, are stymied by a purposeless shock-ending which made no except to give the audience a textbookish jolt.
The age difference between the wife and mistress as also the latter’s immaturity and inexperience was a theme that needed to be worked on. The work wears a worrisomely hurried look.When the wife Raveena receives an ominous call from a woman claiming to be with her injured husband, the enormity of the revelatory moment is lost , as the plot quickly moves to the next thrilling moment.
Whose side is Manish Gupta’s script on? He clearly doesn’t want the mistress to be demonized. At the same time he doesn’t want the wife to walk away with all the sympathy. Consequently we are left hanging on to a cliffhanger which has no cliff.
While Raveena struggles to add meat to her skeletal part,. Milind Soman has little to do except lie inert. Newcomer Vidhi Chitalia exudes a cluelessness that isn’t entirely a part of her character.