Sudhir Mishra’s Inkaar attempts to give the viewer a sneak peek into the actual world of advertising and cut throat competition and how people function behind the veil of the glitz and glamour which the industry is known for.

Inkaar narrates the story of a woman who has filed a sexual harassment report against her boss. The film starts with a committee hearing taking place, with some of the company’s most important members and an outside member who is present to ensure the proceedings are fair (presumably someone from a woman’s rights NGO or an investigating officer of sorts). As the two parties are heard and recall the events which went into her filing the harassment charges, the viewer is exposed to the relationship they shared and how it progressed from there on.

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Chitrangada Singh does a good job as the woman who files the complaint, though at times I felt she overdid her role. What really took me by surprise was Arjun Rampal’s acting prowess. I had never imagined that he’d be able to carry off a lead role so efficiently. In playing a man who has been accused of causing sexual harassment at the workplace, he proves me and his other critics wrong. Deepti Naval plays her part well as the investigating officer. In other words, save minor glitches here and there, the acting is top notch throughout the film.

The camera work is decent, but right from the very beginning we are exposed to some pretty neat editing, with the highpoints being the opening and closing sequences. Kudos to Archit Rastogi for spicing up the film with the perfect edit. As far as the direction is concerned, Mishra has already established himself as one of the country’s finest directors with films like Dharavi and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, and he ensures that no harm as caused to his reputation.

Sudhir Mishra and Manoj Tyagi’s screenplay manages to build up well and keeps the audience engaged for the vast majority of its running time. The dialogues are well–timed and help to create tension between Rampal and Singh, adding all the more flavour to the film. However, the climax is a complete letdown and kept me wondering as to why they almost ruined a perfectly good movie with an ending so bland and tasteless. The film does its bit to make up for the failed climax with the closing sequences, but that could only be termed as damage control at best.

The non-linear fashion in which the narrative progresses, going back and forth and jumping to flashbacks repeatedly was something which I found interesting, though I doubt that will appeal to a lot of people. Shantanu Moitra has composed some fine music for this film which helps fill up some of the gaps which are created by the story. Songs like ‘Darmiyan’ and ‘Zindagi ka Karobar’ stay with you even after you’ve exited the theatre.

Overall, Inkaar isn’t amongst Sudhir Mishra’s best works, but give it a watch nonetheless, even if it is only to watch the powerful performances by Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh, and to listen to the soulful tunes of Shantanu Moitra.

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