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For Real

Rating: 2

September 17, 2010

Cast: Sarita Choudhury, Adil Hussain, Zoya Hassan, Sriharsh Sharma

Director: Sona Jain

For Real, directed by Sona Jain, is a thought-provoking but amateurish film about the breakdown of a marriage as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old girl.

Sarita Choudhury and Adil Hussain star as a couple struggling to keep a happy public face even as their marriage is slowly crumbling. It’s their impressionable young daughter Shruti (played by Zoya Hassan) who’s having the most trouble understanding the sudden changes, convinced in fact, that her mother’s an alien.

The film is intended as an honest look at the psychological impact of domestic discord on a young child, but it’s betrayed by sluggish pacing, and an indulgent screenplay packed with long scenes containing no dialogue or drama.

The performances, particularly by the older actors, are uninspired; and ultimately it’s the two child actors who provide the film its warmest moments. Shruti and her older brother Paras (played by Sriharsh Sharma) are refreshingly spontaneous, and their scenes together ring remarkably true even when they’re doing nothing of any consequence, merely hanging out and chatting away.

Alas, despite its brave intentions, this film is only moderately engaging. I’m going with two out of five for director Sona Jain’s For Real. Popular films seldom address such uncomfortable subjects honestly. This film has the ambition, but there’s no excuse for boring us!

(This interview first aired on CNN-IBN)

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