The TV star is the hero of a confusing and bizarre tale that invents its own genre: Masala Science Fiction!
Shree, besides being the big screen debut of popular TV actor Hussain Kuwajerwala, is so much more. Its no simple movie. The posters claim that the film is, among other sobriquets, ‘the trap, the science’ (of what?). A thrilling sci-fi masala genre bender, Shree can also be explained as a cat and mouse game, a poor man’s Butterfly Effect and an escape into the bizarre with a story so rigged that you could be a genius and still not figure out just what’s going on at any moment in time! You cannot outguess the filmmaker here. The only way to win here is to not play the game, something that half the theatre was doing after the interval, once they knew they were outwitted.
The story shows a naïve Shree (Hussain) working as a lowly employee in a mobile company. His lady love Sonu (Anjali Patil) is a screaming, screeching little girl who is always ready for an adrenaline trip. One day, Shree’s sexy boss Sheena (Shivani Tanskale) calls him into her cabin and makes him an offer he can’t refuse – to spend 12 hours in captivity for Rs 20 lakhs. Shree’s boss’ boss, mastermind Jairaj Randhava (Rio Kapadiya ) is a man whose life’s mantras always go in pairs – for instance, “What’s difficult is blah… but what’s even more difficult than difficult is blah blah blah!” Well, Shree doesn’t like the idea (smart boy!), but his girl tells him he better do as commanded, else it’s over between them. Sweet girl, this one! The high point of the romance arrives when Shree shows her the money he’s given, and there are tears in her eyes – she behaves like how Gollum did when he was reunited with the ring (Lord of the Rings). Crazy people, this Shree and his girl! They go through with the plan…and Shree’s life will never be the same again.
With a cheesy story, lazy editing and sound and over the top acting, Shree is like an Ed Wood movie. Or one made by the fledgling B-movie industry that operates out of a studio with no visiting card. The passion with which the film is obviously made is what needs to be recognised and respected, because there is very little to connect that with what plays out onscreen. What also needs to be saluted is the zeal of the producers – diamond merchants who actually spell out the address of one of their showrooms somewhere in Andheri East, a trend we are sure Bollywood will pick up soon!
We’re not going to ruin the suspense for you, but let us just say that Shree is the subject of a really low budget science experiment that is successful, and could make space for a sequel. With its million flaws, the movie makes you laugh at odd moments. Besides Hussain’s colourful performance, what stands out are his ears, especially in the scene where a digital model of his face is shown.
Do you want any more reasons for daring to watch this one? How about the fact that it is definitely more entertaining than Aashiqui 2?
Reviewed by Reza Noorani
**** Very good