I M 24

R-Vision India Pvt. Ltd. and Plan­ man Motion Pictures’ I M 24 (UA) is a film about two friends, Shubendu Roy (Rajat Kapoor) and Gagandeep Singh (Ranvir Shorey), who are as different from each other as cheese from chalk. While Shubendu, a strugg­ling film writer, is honest and principled, Gagandeep, a struggling actor, is a go-getter and has no qualms about lying and cheating.

Gagandeep, one day, somehow convinces Shubendu that without re­ sorting to speaking lies, he will never be able to get a break in the entertainment industry. Producer-director Nayan Sidhwani (Saurabh Shukla) gives Shubendu break as a writer and asks him to write a TV serial for him by copying another serial. Al­ though Shubendu is not at all happy doing this, Gagandeep prevails upon him to not backtrack.

One day, Shubendu meets a girl, Kanak (Manjari Fadnis), on a chatting website and lies to her about his age and looks. He tells her, he is 24 years old and does not reveal that he is half bald. Kanak soon arrives in Bombay to participate in the Miss India contest and is shocked to find Shubendu so different from what she had imagined, based, of course, on his description about himself.

Here, Gangandeep, who has join­ ed Sidhwani’s production company as a production hand, keeps fuelling the romance between Shubendu and Kanak ever since they had met on the Internet. His own love story with strugg­ling actress Sheela (Neha Dhupia) goes through its ups and downs.

What happens to the two love stories ultimately?

Saurabh Shukla’s story begins on a promising note but soon runs out of steam as it degenerates into an ass­ emblage of anecdotes rather than an engrossing story. His screenplay com- prises predictable scenes and equally predictable twists and turns. Except for the scenes between Shub­ endu and Gagandeep, the drama hardly involv­ es the viewer. In the second half and the latter part of the first half especial­ ly, the drama becom­ es so slow and boring that it tests the audience’s patience at a number of places. The track of Kanak reposing so much faith in Shubendu, whom she has never met or seen even in a photograph, seems weird and too convenient because, after all, she is a Miss India contestant and, therefore, supposed to be a thinking woman.

The comedy track of Sidhwani and his assistant/partner (Lilette Dubey) using all sorts of tricks to scare their creditors away is very funny. Dialog­ ues, also penned by Saurabh Shukla, are entertaining.

Rajat Kapoor lives the role of the honest and principled Shubendu Roy. He is supremely natural. Ranvir Shorey endears himself to the audience right from the word ‘go’. He does an ab­ so­ lutely fantastic job as Gagandeep Singh. Neha Dhupia is lovely and per­ forms ably. Manjari Fadnis does a fine job. Saurabh Shukla leaves a mark. Lilette Dubey is first-rate. Vijay Raaz does a splendid job. Delnaaz Paul has her moments as Mona. Karan Singh is alright as Aman.

Saurabh Shukla’s direction is quite nice but the fact remains that his script was more suited for a television serial. Many of the comic anecdotes are of the class-appealing type. Jatin Pandit’s music is nothing to shout about. Fuwad Khan’s cinematography is nice. Sets (by Meenal Agarwal) are okay. Arif Sheikh’s editing is alright.

On the whole, I M 24 has some entertaining moments but they won’t be enough at all to see the film make its mark at the box-office. Given its frighteningly poor start, thanks in no small measure to the poor promotion, the film will go down in box-office his­ tory as a non-starter.

Released on 31-8-’12 at PVRLower Parel (daily 1 show) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Mirchi Movies. Publicity & opening: dull. …….Also rel­ eased all over.

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