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7 1/2 Phere Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Saturday, July 30, 2005 • Hindi ]
7 1/2 Phere Review
Juhi Chawla, Irrfan Khan, Anang Desai, Neena Kulkarni, Lalit Tiwari, Manish Choudhary, Manini DeMusic: Shantanu Moitra
Isshaan Trivedi
Nimit Modawal, Harshvardhan, Sonal Modawal

'7 1/2 Phere' by Nimit Modawal, Harshvardhan and Sonal Modawalis is one such 'experimental' film that brings to light [in a light-hearted manner] the role television media plays in our day to day lives. Though it seems quite apparent that it's a first time effort by director Ishaan Trivedi, inspite of minor hiccups at places, the proceedings do manage to keep you engaged for the major part of the movie and bring in an occasional chuckle or two.

The movie begins with the narration by first time TV serial director Asmi Ganatra [Juhi Chawla]. She is looking for a challenging script for her channel '786 Plus' owned by an enterprising female [Manini De playing a glamorous version of Ekta Kapoor] after observing that all the formulaic ideas have been exhausted and beaten to death.

So what 'new' is the question? 'New' is a 'reality show', an unexplored territory in Indian media that should get what the channel wants most - TRPs. And what better way to stretch a reality show to a 13 episode serial than to shoot a BIG joint family that is which to have a marriage at home?

Since it is not a season of marriages in the city, she (along with her media partners) zeroes down on a North Indian family which is living in what appears to be one of the Delhi farmhouses. The family has all what the camera would want to capture - bade papa, chote tauji, chachajis, bhaiyyajis and a horde of females from 7 to 70 who love their late evening soaps [an obvious dig on the genre to which 'Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki' and 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' belong] and meanwhile cut vegetables and serve dinner to the elders! And if this wasn't enough, even their mannerisms and costumes are (intentionally) straight out of any other Balaji soap.

A 'picture perfect' family for Asmi, she proposes to cover the marriage event and promises to make the family members celebrities overnight. In the meanwhile she also crosses path with the youngest man in the family, Manoj [Irrfan Khan], who is constantly ridiculed and ignored by everyone because he was an unwanted child! Thankfully this angle has been kept light hearted as well rather than making it sound too melodramatic.

But there is a hitch! The family head played by [Vallabh Vyas] puts his foot down and rejects the proposal as he doesn't want any media folks to invade the marriage in his private world. No benefits or perks by the TV channel make him change his stand that threatens Asmi's dream of a reality TV show. This is where Manoj [who has fallen heads over heel in love with Asmi] comes into picture to bail her out.

How? By helping the channel do a sting operation of a 'different' kind. Cameras are installed candidly at all the strategic points in the house but Manoj has one condition - he wants to watch all the videos being shot live in the house to act as censor! He does sit in the trailer van from where the cameras are controlled. And what is revealed on screen brings around some truths that sometimes bring in a smile, sometimes shock, sometimes disgust and at places striking revelations that could impact the marriage itself!

The girl who is about to get married wants to run away with the person she loves. Manoj supports her in this but the channel doesn't. Why? Because her running away is bad for her show as it is meant for a family audience who want to see a perfect family on screen. Manoj and Asmi are at loggerheads now. Asmi wants the marriage to happen with the choice of the elders while Manoj wants her niece to marry the guy of her choice. And this is where the media angle comes into picture as it tries to manipulate the lives for its own selfish reasons!

There is an open battle between Asmi and Manoj. Who wins in the end? The answer to this comes towards the culmination of the movie.

An interest

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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