- Actors Arjun Rampal (L) and Chitrangada Singh with director, Sudhir Mishra (R), during the launch of the movie ‘Inkaar’, Mumbai, Dec. 27.
Director Sudhir Mishra has made several well-received movies in the past. His latest film, “Inkaar” (Refusal), which revolves around what happens when a woman files a complaint of sexual harrassment against a male colleague, opened in cinemas on Friday.
The movie stars actors Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh, who made her debut in Mr. Mishra’s 2003 movie “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi” (A Thousand Dreams Like This), which was set against the backdrop of government authoritarianism in the 1970s. The film also features the acclaimed 1980s actor Deepti Naval.
In “Inkaar,” after Ms. Singh’s character, Maya Luthra, complains about her colleague Rahul Verma, played by Mr. Rampal, a “he said-she-said” battle ensues in which both protagonists fight for their reputations, and the viewer doesn’t know whom to believe. Ms. Naval plays the head of the committee who is supposed to evaluate the complaint.
Here’s a round-up of what critics had to say about the movie:
NDTV movie critic Saibal Chatterjee said that “Inkaar” is “anything but an average Mumbai film” as it deals with an unconventional theme. But Mr. Chatterjee was disappointed in the film, saying it “chickens out” of a possibly “radical conclusion.”
He was also unimpressed by the acting. “The lead pair is unable to whip up the sort of corrosive energy that two hot-headed and motivated people should have produced in the bubbling cauldron-like setting of an airtight ad agency,” he said, giving the movie three stars out of five.
Ananya Bhattacharya of Zee News lauded Sudhir Mishra, the director, for delicately handling the theme.
“It craftily builds a narrative, traveling back and forth in time, picking out instances from the protagonists’ life,” said Ms. Bhattacharya. “Any 21st century office-going individual can relate” to the characters, she added.
Unlike Mr. Chatterjee, Ms. Bhattacharya praised the performances of Mr. Rampal and Ms. Singh. “Both the actors shine steadily through with their performances,” she said. The supporting actors also delivered strong performances, said Ms. Bhattacharya, giving the movie three-and-half stars out of five.
In a review on the movie portal bollywoodhungama.com, Taran Adarsh noted that the film is “extremely relevant, topical and relatable in today’s times. Sexual harassment is a reality and one needs to address it.”
The movie, he added, is about “greed, ambition and power play.”
Calling Mr. Mishra a “sensitive storyteller,” Mr. Adarsh said he handled the “provocative moments” in the film elegantly.
Far from being disappointed by the performances of the lead actors, Mr. Adarsh felt that while Mr. Rampal displayed “remarkable understanding of the character,” Chitrangada Singh managed to “immerse herself” in her role.
Mr. Adarsh recommended the movie for “spectators of serious cinema,” giving the movie three out of five stars.
For Sanjukta Sharma, “Inkaar” is a “story with promise.”
In her review for the business daily Mint, she compared it to Mr. Mishra’s earlier films, in which “sharp dramatic tools made realism eloquent.” This one, though, relied on “clichés,” Ms. Sharma feels.
“Towards the climax, both Rahul and Maya turn false and banal,” she said, while the film takes “ludicrous” turns.