NOT A LOVE STORY review: Miss it at your own risk

Guest reviewer Hansal Mehta was “completely surprised, engaged, disturbed and in awe” at the story “narrated with hyperactive energy, a disturbing insight into human behaviour”

Since I am without a platform to blog on, here is my two bit about Ram Gopal Varma’s Not A Love Story. Ramu has been an inspiration for many like me – for his audacity, his choice of subject, his treatment, his attitude and his approach. I have spent many years of my career looking at his films with appreciation, awe, anger, detestation and, I dare say, envy. The lesson I’ve learnt from him is – never stop trying. Every time I have interacted with him I have found a childlike excitement for technology, performances, form, subject and everything that inhabits his cinematic world. You can disagree with him, you can argue with him, you can praise him, you can run him down. He will listen, but I suspect he does not give a damn! So much for Ramu.

I saw Not A Love Story with minimum expectation and maximum fear. The producer of my current film Sunil Bohra is also the producer of Ramu’s film. I was concerned for Sunil. I had minimum expectation for obvious reasons.

I am not qualified to review or provide an ‘expert’ opinion on this film. I can only say that Not A Love Story had me completely surprised, engaged, disturbed and in awe. Here is a story that has been narrated with hyperactive energy and disturbing insights into human behavior. Using a frenetic editing rhythm and uneasily probing cameras, Ramu has created a claustrophobic world for the protagonists of his film. It uses minimal dialogue and trademark RGV sound design to telling effect. Deepak Dobriyal again proves that he is one of the finest actors of the present generation. RGV protege Anurag Kashyap’s protege Mahie Gill is, however, the ‘piece de resistance’ of this film. Alluring, vulnerable, once sexy, the next moment ordinary, once fearful, the next moment cold, this actress carries Ramu’s audaciously claustrophobic and schizophrenic vision on her shoulders.

This film qualifies as one of Ramu’s best and marks the return to form of the ‘enfant terrible’ – the man we love to hate. Miss it at your own risk.