Movie Review: Roy is Over-smart, Pretentious and Hollow

The problem with a film like Roy is that it takes itself way too seriously. The writer-director (Vikramjit Singh) seems to be hell-bent on making you realize that he has watched all the major Hollywood thrillers, perhaps has a bag full of world cinema DVDs and is also very neat when it comes to understanding the cinematic grammar. Sadly, while trying to impress one and all with his supposed cinematic know-how, Vikramjit only manages to make a film that’s awfully boring, heavily pretentious and criminally hollow.

Roy in its relentless bid to surround itself with some kind of mystic and mystery ends up being down right meaningless and showy at places. So, the two male leads (Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor- more on his length of the role later) puff up dozens of cigarettes and cigars just to look intense and broody. They fail. There are repetitive shots of wine and whisky with ice cubes, reflections on the glasses, a tacky looking hat, fancy coats, swimming pool sequences and a typewriter. Add a chessboard sequence, a few running horses, vintage cars and endless seashore sequences, and you have a cocktail of ostentatious opulence and glamour that induces nausea. The entire film is littered with cliches and stereotypes that you associate with writing, writers and creative people in general. The film’s dialogues are uselessly loaded and the characters do not even smile once while mouthing these obnoxiously written lines.

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I am not dissecting the story of Roy here for you as the film has none. It’s a farce that you are served with in the name of a story. The audacity of the makers of the film is evident in the way they take the audience’s intellect for a ride and try to ‘build up’ a hype or a drama when in reality nothing exists. And as if hollowness of the script and sham of a story were not criminal enough, you also feel infuriated by the over-smartness of makers in trying to sell and project Roy as a ‘Ranbir Kapoor’ film. Alas, it is a Arjun Rampal-starrer with TWO Jacqueline Fernandezes and Ranbir in a ‘dynamic role’ (read extended guest appearance).

Ranbir Kapoor who plays the title role for no proper reason and logic looks totally disinterested and lost. Yet, the gifted actor’s face displays more acting muscles than two Jacquelines and one Arjun ‘wooden’ Rampal combined. To be fair, Rampal tries hard to act and look his part of a top-grade director but does not really does anything worth noticing. Ditto for Jacqueline who looks beautiful, alright, but simply does not have the acting prowess or the depth and range to shoulder the responsibility of a double-role.

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The film’s only saving grace is its melodious music which you wait for like a hungry man throughout the film. Songs like ‘Chittiyan Kalaiyan’, ‘Sooraj Duba’ and ‘Tu Hai Ki Nahin’ are extremely well-shot, making you wonder whether Vikramjit should have just stuck to directing music videos! These songs are nothing less than an oasis in a vast, dreary and sterile desert.

The film’s background score is sophisticated and polished but it has to share the blame of ‘building up a hype’ when none exists. The cinematographer (Himman Dhamija) seems to have a gala time shooting in Malaysia with a self-indulgent director at helm.

Overall, Roy is a kind of film that critics suffer so that you don’t have to undergo the pain. Do not spoil your Valentine weekend over Roy as it really adds nothing to your joy (wow, did that rhyme?). It is a pretentious, hollow film that tries to ride on Ranbir’s popularity to bring in some easy moolah.

Rating: * (Poor)

Ashish Anant

Ashish calls himself a 'corporate sellout' but swears by anything Bollywood. He has a strong opinion on films, cricket and politics - the top three fascinations (in no particular order) of India. Ashish loves to eat and sleep, and if he gets time in between, he hopes to finish his first novel very soon.

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