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Review: No Spark in this film

October 10, 2014 18:09 IST

The Spark posterSpark's title, like everything else about it, is random, rants Paloma Sharma.

Once upon a time, in the fair land of Germany, there was a strapping young lad from India called Arjun (Rajneesh Duggal), who delivered boxes from a mini van, drank videsi daaru, wore well fitting blazers and drove the best of cars.

Back in India, there was a local political goon, Babu Lal, who pulled his own version of the Amityville Massacre.

In Delhi, sits Babu Lal's former boss whose father left his mother for another woman. 

Did the above paragraph make any sense or draw any interest at all?
 
No?
 
Well, now you have a sample of what it was like to sit through Spark.
 
It is one thing to have twists in the plot and quite another to have coughed up balls of cat hair entangled with the woolen thread of your story, which is, obviously, being spun by someone who either has too much time on their hands or has too little connect with the real world.
 
Spark opens with three different people speaking horribly broken English and passing around a baby. Two minutes later, everybody gets shot.
 
Without any explanation or connection to anything, Spark cuts to the above mentioned jawan working in the vilayat and just to prove his macho-ness, director VK Singh gets a blonde German girl to hit on Arjun. Of course he rejects her. And Lo! Singh creates a character that his target audience can both relate to and look up to within the first 10 minutes of the film.
 
Arjun then gets a call from India. His father Dildaar (Ranjeet) has been beaten up by goons in order to get Arjun back to India. 
 
Arjun runs into Laila/Anupama (Subhasree Ganguly), the girl for whom he had the hots in college, and the two of them finally get together.

Back in Arjun's hometown, a dubious political game is being played between two deadly rivals and unwittingly, Arjun becomes a pawn in it.
 
Spark moves from Germany to India to Germany to India to Germany to India to Germany, for no apparent reason -- as if this is a vacation not a film, as if plane tickets and visas are being given out for free at your friendly neighbourhood paanwalla's stall. 
 
The script lacks a sense of continuity and springs off into too many subplots. There are too many characters, most of which could have been cut down.
 
Spark employs so many double standards and is so full of sexism that it reminds one of a saas bahu soap, and indeed, it is shot like one. Low angle, 180 degree shots for effect have been overdone and should usually be avoided especially during dance sequences where the heroine's costume flies around.
 
There are frames where by-standers are clearly visible looking on, smiling, giggling, even during serious scenes and dream/day dream sequences.
 
At least two of the songs in Spark mention soda botal as an influence, which makes one wonder if the lyricists were influenced as well. The music is just a little less than mediocre, the lyrics, cringe-worthy. Far too many songs line just happen out of the blue for absolutely no reason, most of which involve skimpily clad heroines and equally, if not more, skimpily clad (female) back up dancers.
 
The only saving grace of the dance sequences is that they make Duggal and Ganguly bearable. Duggal isn't really a bad dancer, but the scenes where he pretends to be drunk make you think that he's probably a teetotaler who overdosed on reruns of Devdas. Although greatly improved from his 1920 days, Duggal is yet to learn to underplay it. 
 
Ganguly isn't a great dancer but she's a pro at handling dance sequences. However, with her it is less passionate and more mechanical. You can tell that she's done this a hundred times before and she's just doing this again for the sake of it.
 
Other than being ogled at, sweet talked to and day dreamed about by Arjun, I don't understand why Ganguly's character even exists. She and her annoying cousin, who goes "Ooooh!" at everything, and pretty much every other person they come into contact with in Germany could have been cut out and saved us all a lot of time.
 
The editing is horrendous. Scenes have been randomly placed here and there. The editor and director probably set out to make a three-part series but have now fit everything. The film is like a shabby pile of scenes that sometimes make sense but generally don't. 
 
Even the senior members of the cast like Rati Agnihotri, Ashutosh Rana and Govind Namdeo haven't given their best. It says a lot about the screenplay and the direction when versatile actors like Sanjay Misra fail.
 
Spark's title, like everything else about it, is random.
 
Filled with twisted morality and creepy old uncles who like to watch (and how I hate to use this term) item girls sing about their 'jawaani' and 'solah baras ki kahaani' -- 16 is underage, just FYI -- Spark simply failed to ignite the flame.
 
Rediff Rating: 

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Paloma Sharma/ Rediff.com in Mumbai
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