Too mild to be hot

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By A Friday film that flatters to deceive. MOHUA DAS
  • Published 27.05.08
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When you hear MMS scandal, you think Riya Sen making out with Ashmit Patel, Kareena Kapoor undressing, Kalyug’s catastrophe... For Tollywood, it’s a brand new red hot theme, but does Eti... Realisation Begins do justice to it? Not really.

Eti is more like a routine love story where a bunch of college-goers get together, play pranks and make merry but are caught unawares — or rather with their pants down — by the subsequent twists and turns. By the end of it, Eti becomes a complex story too simply told.

At the centre of all the action is Gourab, who plays the super cool Sanjoy in love with Shreya (Roopali). The couple, along with two other couples and a still-single friend, plan a holiday in Darjeeling. The gang of friends (which boasts familiar faces from TV and theatre) is meant to have a blast on the road but the foolish gags and lukewarm dialogues slacken the pace.

Gourab and Shreya get cosy and make the mistake of recording their intimate moments on a handycam. The sequence is candidly filmed with Gourab caressing Roopali’s bare back as they make love on satin sheets. But the director does desist from turning the film into a sleaze fest.

What had started off as a teen romance changes track post-interval. Things take an ugly turn when the teenagers get sucked into a porn racket.

A giggling, squealing Roopali takes time to get under the skin of her character. Gourab does better as a mischievous fun-loving youth, except for the times when he bursts into tears as things go awry.

Of the rest, Bhaswar tries to be the friend-philosopher-guide to his pals; his bright and chirpy lady love Sweta livens up things a bit. Swaralipi fits in as a silly romantic, while Dhruv, the guy without a girlfriend, is hardly funny.

But the wafer-thin plot struggling to hold the chain of sensational events takes a toll on the film. The pedestrian treatment does not help matters. Digitally shot, Eti has the feel of a home video with shoddy editing and jerky camera movements.

There are some incomprehensible characters who just flit in and out of the film, and some inexplicable sequences. Why would some friends sit in the sunny verandah of an air-conditioned cafe and crib about the sweltering heat for 10 long minutes to plan a trip to Darjeeling?

Eti does not break any new ground in filmmaking, nor does it try to get to the core issue of voyeurism, pornography and their social impact. A little more sensitivity and a lot more depth was needed to mirror the flip side of technology and the impact it has on its victims.

SORRY FOR THE INTERRUPTION(S):

It took three re-runs and nearly 150 minutes for this 80-minute film to run its course at Star theatre on Friday evening (or rather night). Yes, the premiere of Eti was a flop show, thanks to the auditorium’s projector. After 10 minutes of suffering the two-fold vision, the screening was stopped and started afresh. The second innings ran for 20 minutes more before it was stopped again. The focus was sharpened during the third run but the display was still distorted, cutting out characters from the screen. The final screening was marked by glitches galore with the film getting stuck at several points and having to be dragged to the right point. Shame, shame!