Something as simple as a vibe can form something as enormous as an opinion.
In a sexual context, to judge sociable from suggestive and vice versa in a part-liberal, part-conservative society is highly precarious. One person’s idea of harmless flirtation could be another’s criteria of inappropriate conduct. But under NO circumstances is exploitation okay.
No matter what line of work one is in, at some point, every individual has to decide on his/her own as to where they want to draw a line and when they need to object.
Instead of expounding on the opaqueness of this matter with sensitivity and substance, Inkaar trivialises something so serious and rampant as sexual harassment into a terrible joke. I wouldn’t have so many issues with Sudhir Mishra’s new film if it wasn’t so irresponsibly promoting Inkaar as something it’s not. Especially now.
The trailer and quite a prominent chunk of its script, written by Manoj Tyagi (a Madhur Bhandarkar regular. Ah, that explains a lot), plays upon the mystery of fact and fiction to determine the real victim between Rahul (Arjun Rampal), the dynamic CEO of a topnotch ad agency and his ambitious protégée turned National Creative Director, Maya (Chitrangada Singh) after the latter accuses him of getting too close for comfort.
Told in back and forth narratives within a span of two days, wherein a visibly upset Maya and quietly seething Rahul present their side of the story, including an unpleasant split in the past, to a panel headed by Deepti Naval (looking lovely, making sense).
Mishra, a filmmaker who rarely wastes any time to get across his point, grazes upon everything under the sun from gender-based politics/prejudices, blazing office rivalry, compromised work ethics to commitment phobia and misplaced philosophies (in needless subplots) but fails to construct anything concrete with regards to the story.
On several occasions, Inkaar bears resemblance to a Bhandarkar creation, when churning out crudeness in particular, like the scene where Rampal dismisses Chitrangada’s jingle ideas as shit (a grosser version of the word) or its supporting cast spewing innuendoes for effect (classic Bhandarkar). For most part though, there’s an obvious effort to maintain a consistently cosmetic air of seriousness and class.
Even so, Inkaar, with a running time that’s little above two hours, starts out with promise and engages considerably until the plot hits a massive writer’s block and transforms into an exasperating Alice who’s lost her way and been kicked out of Wonderland. The upshot is a climax so moronic, it’s easily one of the worst I’ve seen in recent times.
Truth be told, Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada, looking sharp, self-assured and comfortable in each other’s presence, do the best within their limitations to not contribute to Inkaar’s troubles, which is also guilty of wasting Shantanu Moitra’s electric compositions around a lacklustre scenario.
In the end though, what could have been an engrossing take on modern-day relationships in a frantic, workaholic culture is single-handedly destroyed by warped publicity and ridiculous conclusions.
So am I going to recommend why two sorted-out professionals are dumbed down to thick-headed fools and sexual harassment is just another day in office? I don’t think so.