Thursday, March 23, 2006

Being Cyrus

The dark comedy Being Cyrus centers around the lives of a Parsi family, the Sethnas. From the film's name, expectations that conjure up are about a typical Parsi existence. But as the film gets underway and the plot unravels, you realize that it is far from that. The story brings out the dark sides of some seemingly ordinary characters, who eventually go to unbelievable lengths to achieve their goals.

Cyrus (Saif) shows up at the Sethna's at their Panchgani bungalow, and offers to be an assistant to pot maker Dinshaw (Naseeruddin Shah). He spends a year with them and in the process a romance seemingly brews between him and Katy (Dimple Kapadia), Dinshaw's wife. Other clandestine activities coincide with this; Cyrus receives some money for an undisclosed reason, and he is shown working on something in a lab setting. He then arrives at Dinshaw's brother, Faroq's (Boman Irani) house in a very Parsi locality in Mumbai. Faroq takes care of their father who lives in a room in their Mumbai apartment, and does not treat him too well. Cyrus befriends the father but Faroq loathes his proximity. Katy on the other hand, gets frequent calls from Mumbai, in a parallel unexpected development. Tina(Simone Singh) who is Faroq's wife, befriends a policeman Lovely (Manoj Pahwa), and their interactions provide good comic relief. In what follows, the plot slowly unfurls, revealing morbid and unanticipated sides of many personalities. The movie takes a shocking turn at one juncture and the few minutes around that scene unravel a range of unforeseen occurrences.

Saif's fist English movie, his lead character transitions from carefree sculptor's assistant to a starkly more somber character in a span of a few minutes. Naseeruddin Shah again plays the intoxicated old man following Iqbal; he is a reclusive pot sculptor who is hooked to a different kind of pot. Dimple Kapadia fulfills the role of middle aged vain Parsi lady, but her character could have been more believable. Boman Irani, originally Parsi, is at home with the characters and dialog delivery in this film. There is a scene where he gets into an argument with a Parsi lady about her pet dog which captivates the viewer with its authenticity and comedy. Simone Singh gives a good performance of an unassuming bride who transforms into something very different.

The film does not have songs, but the soundtrack is effective and did justice to the different moods. Some scenes could have used a more topical background score to build up and establish the importance of the scene. The use of English, not all actors' first language, causes some parts to come across as unnatural.

For a directorial debut, Homi Adajania's work is commendable and one wonders how he managed to clinch such a stellar cast on his initiation. He has shown his versatility in comedy and drama scenes as well as evocative dream sequences. Considering how unpredictable the plot is, it has been stitched together well.

On the whole, the movie has a few things going for it - the star cast, the plot and the direction. This one is not to be missed - an offbeat stunner with true box office potential.



Blogger Rishe said...

Would like to share my opinion here:

10:38 AM  

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