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An urbane look

Film: Woodstock villa

Cast: Sikander Kher, Neha Uberoi

Direction: Hansal Mehta

Bollywood is turning over a new leaf. Moving away one step at a time from the days of three-hour sagas, the brave New Age filmmakers are daring to make films that would slot in easily at multiplexes thanks to their under two-hour duration. The characters, the music, the feel, everything is urban. And the lead characters no longer have to be pristine pure. Or the villains unappetising, garish, melodramatic. Hansal Mehta, who has hitherto been noticed more for his promise than performance, adds another chapter to the still evolving book here with “Woodstock Villa”. What’s more, the film introduces two youngsters who with the right guidance and better grooming might just make a mark. Both Sikandar Kher, who has acting in his genes, and Neha Uberoi, who has no such benefit yet is none the worse for it, come through the opener with decent marks.

They are expected to do what every newcomer does: the guy rides a bike, downs a drink, holds a pistol and plays that mix of black and white that makes grey an inviting shade.

The girl shakes a leg, hops into the bed, and then at the end of it all, proves a smart girl! Sikandar plays a young guy who has borrowed lots of money with no avenue for return. He needs to make a few bucks fast. What that translates into Bollywood parlance is anybody’s guess but sufficient to say in a whodunit it is even easier.

Neha plays a rich girl who loves her hubby. But there is something she loves more. And that draws the hero and the heroine closer in this kidnap drama with shades of Stockholm Syndrome.

Enough said about the kids. The film could have been better. The director’s grip loosens every now and then, though he redeems himself with a shocking end. The dialogue is forgettable.

And the screenplay does not offer too much novelty. All said, “Woodstock Villa” can be seen. - Ziya-Us-Salam

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