Movie Review: Yeh Saali Zindagi (Hindi) 121

By calling itself ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’, the film projects itself as a new age bollywood flick with an attitude. Its masala is heartily delivered to you through its well written dialog. As it manages to trap you and times confound you with its myriad twists, its likeable characters mouthing smart-but-raw lines engages you. The songs too are decent and complement the film.

The film has multiple plots crisscrossing each other. One is about Arun (Irfan Khan) an accounting whiz who is hopelessly in love with a Priti (Chitrangada Singh) who sings in hotels for a livelihood. But she is in love with Shyam who is set to be married to the daughter of a Minister. On the other hand, there is Kuldeep (Arunoday Singh) who seeks domestic bliss from wife Shati (Aditi Rao Hydari) but can’t part ways with a well paying life of crime.

Things get complicated when a jailed former henchman of the Minister arranges a kidnap that goes wrong. The story then gets into a spiral of deceit and corruption. What puts you off is its motley of characters each of whom is introduced with a narrative. Contrived as its characters and twists may seem, you give up trying to make sense of it and enjoy the flow.

Despite it having a good amount of bloodshed, the film is not violent. Though dealing with goons, the movie can be funny! The good thing about it is that it doesn’t give you a heavy head and you may as well enjoy it again, for its dialog, if telecast on TV anytime in future.

Shot around Delhi, it is nice to see that movie makers in the recent years have shed the Mumbai obsession in their films, especially if it had anything to do with goons, guns and money. The new flavor that these films carry is surely ringing in the moolah.

Among its leads, Irfan Khan steals the show as the despondent lover, ready to give up all for a woman who doesn’t love him! And he does it willingly! Chitrangada, well, all her roles seem the same! Abhimanyu Singh who made his mark in Aisha and Mirch was probably too sophisticated to play a goon. Still, it’s good work! Pretty Aditi Rao Hydari had little else to do except slap Kuldeep and be served with his lip-smacking recipe to tranquilize her!

Gangsters, corrupt politicians, financiers with shades of grey aren’t usually a fertile ground for a new story. It is where directors like Sudhir Mishra make up for it by bringing in too many characters, especially quirky ones, forced twists and raw dialog. But made on a modest budget, ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’ is watchable and would make a decent choice for some weekend fun.

Rating 6/10: Irfan Khan excels as the film’s smart dialog entertains!