Two films for the price of one
Rich boy meets poor girl. Poor girl has five overprotective brothers.
Rich boy wins them over along with her heart.
Then, thanks to an accident, the brothers and the boy's father are at loggerheads. Thus putting a spanner in the works.
That, in sum, is Joy Augustine's Paagalpan. The film showcases newcomers right from the two starring roles (Karan Nath and Aarti Agarwal) and the five brothers to the father.
The fresh, light and frothy romantic first half is at drastic variance to the very intense, violent and, at times crazy, second half. However, thanks to director Joy Augustine's control, the fast momentum of the film leaves you no time to think.
But the occasional 'Why?' does keep popping into your head.
Why, for example, does Karan's father suddenly become a man with no conscience? What, for another, exactly happens in that unexplained silent conference that he presides over before his ship meets with an accident?
That brings me to the other grey areas: The couple falls in love too soon (never mind the sceptics who say love has no reason).
The change of the characters from fun-loving to downright lunatic is too radical and violent. It makes for some horrifically violent scenes in the second half -- just perfect for those who dig action. Where, one wonders, does that leave the romance-lovers?
The screenplay never quite lays the foundation for the young couple such that the girl drives a nail into her hand, or to have the guy beaten to near death with an iron rod by the brothers. While the two scenes are effective, contextually, they are very weak.
The title might be Paagalpan. But dealing with characters with larger-than-life anger and madness leaves you wondering: Aren't these guys going over the top and overreacting?
For no apparent reason, the brothers suddenly become these devilish characters who want to avenge the death of one of their brothers, and want to beat Karan to within an inch of his life. Also, even after Arti drives a nail through her hand, no one seems to bother how her hand is. Everyone is more worried about tearing
her room apart. clearing all traces of Karan's gifts and letters.
Raju Singh's music is refreshing and imaginatively picturised, though the song, Dil Hai Deewana, could have done with some polished choreography.
The action by Shyam Kaushal has been well-executed. But considering that Paagalpan is a love story, the climatic blood fest is excessive, to say the least.
Karan Nath shows promise in his debut film and is a young man to look out for. However, Aarti Agarwal needs to polish up a lot more.
The five brothers in the film get the best introduction anyone can hope for (a two-minute-long animated sequence hilariously narrated by Javed Jaffery). Unfortunately, the actors simply ham through the film with the exception of the eldest brother (Dr Vilas), who turns in a dignified performance despite wearing a bad wig.
The second half of the film reminds you of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo And Juliet, with jump cuts and fast-paced chases. But the fact is Luhrmann had consistency throughout his film in terms of character development.
Madness was inherent in the Capulet brothers, protectiveness and stupidity are inherent in the Paagalpan brothers.
All in all, watching Paagalpan is like seeing two films for the price of one: A breezy entertainer and a violent bloodfest.
I liked the first part better.
The story in pictures
'The best love stories have newcomers': Joy Augustine
Karan Nath on Rediff Chat
Joy Augustine on Rediff Chat