Monday, 17 August, 2009

Hulla

Two levels humour. Seven floors. Fourteen society members. And one nutty watchman. A film that is as refreshingly candid as well as courageous to take on a subject many would deem trivial.

With a cast full of familiar faces from Indian television as well as Bollywood, except the unknown mad-as-a-hatter night watchman (who changes his age as conveniently as he changes his tune to get some sympathy), perform their parts to perfection in a film that explores the travails of a tired, misunderstood and sleepless man because of a shrill whistle that is supposed to scare away thieves, only manages to make his sleep disappear, night after night.

Raj (Sushant Singh), a stock broker by day and his wife Abha (Kartika) move to a new place (from the looks of it, seemed like Oshiwara, but I'm digressing) and apart from handling the barbs from his ever-unsatisfied, acerbic father-in-law at their weekly dinner-dos ever so politely, life couldn't be better. He is a star at his broking firm. The wife is successful too. DINKS with a Santro to boot. Actually without a boot. Couldn't resist that.

Hell begins as soon as night falls. Shrill whistles, a scared-as-a-cat Watchman and an uncompromising building Secretary, Mr Janardhan (Rajat Kapoor) ensure that night after night Raj can't get a wink logged on to his name. And every day, when logging on to his stock terminal, he starts feeling the effects of the forced insomnia.

Soon enough, Raj goes from bleary eyed to teary eyed.

His wife refuses to believe that a whistle or a stick could be keeping him away, after all, she is not a light sleeper. And to add to that are the sharply created characters staying in the building who add to the Hulla. Their home decor, mannerisms, accents and dialogues written to perfection. Haven't we met them all, sometime, somewhere?

The day is full of barbs, PJs and funny repartees, guaranteed to evince a guffaw from everyone. The night time is full of underplayed dark humour. Guaranteed to evince a wry smile at the frustrating situation that Raj finds himself in.

I saw this on DVD, unfortunately, when it could have been more enjoyable in a theater. But so it is.

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