Cast: Patralekha, Gaurav Arora, Tara Alisha Berry, Hiten Tejwani
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Roses are red, violets are blue.
Sex can be dangerous, but love can be too.
When a film opens with a background voice chanting sex eight times in 20 seconds, you know what you have gotten yourself into. It gets even more interesting when a sultry seductress arrives announcing, “I like only three things: winning, cocaine and love games.”
Titled Love Games – Love Dangerously, this film is about an adventurous woman Ramona Raichand (Patralekha) who lives on the edge. Thrill is all she wants in life, and Sam (Gaurav Arora) is her toy boy. Sam is a depressed guy who likes SH (self harm), this is the term they use in the film. The closet couple decides to take their escapades one notch higher by playing love games. As per the rules of this game, Ramona and Sam need to find the happiest couple in a page 3 party and then seduce one of them to bed.
Here they meet a successful criminal lawyer Gaurav Asthana (Hiten Tejwani) and his surgeon wife Alisha (Tara Alisha Berry). The wife’s vulnerability against her abusive husband only helps Ramona and Sam’s cause. The proceedings take a wild turn when Sam falls for Alisha. Ramona isn’t willing to let go Sam, and their relationship becomes sour. But, is this just the beginning of another twisted love game?
Director Vikram Bhatt’s film features the interiors of Mumbai penthouses where middle class morals are unheard of. They abuse spouses in public, pour drink over each other in parties and go on with their lives, without feeling any remorse. It’s a sure shot box office formula the Bhatt camp has been exploring since 15 years. What started with Kasoor in 2001 found a milestone in Murder (2004), and has now become a staple in 2016. Only they are getting more scandalous and ‘bold’ in their approach. And what do they mean by bold: Cut out the sexual innuendos and state them in as many words.
Love Games introduces us to cocaine-snorting friends with benefits within minutes before providing a peep into the lonely lives of its protagonists, and soon it becomes murkier. Ramona’s obsession takes the center-stage and Sam gets pushed to play a victim, but the film loses the shock value in the process. It’s not something we haven’t witnessed before. Once the surprise factor dies down, we’re left with only fast paced action, but disappointment greets us right there because Love Games is a lift-up from many similar films. Words hold no meaning after a while. Come on, we have been there, heard that.
Newcomer Gaurav Arora looks confident and has shown some potential, but it’s very difficult for anybody to stand out in a film meant to explore the uncontrollable sexual urge of its heroine.
Patralekha is the highlight of Love Games. She did a good job in Hansal Mehta’s Citylights, but this role demanded a certain kind of language and body movements from her. She obliges. Patralekha tries her best to hold everything together, but she is all alone in her pursuit.
Watch: Patralekha, Gaurav Arora in Love Games trailer
Vikram Bhatt is just juggling with the idea of cheap thrills without actually putting anything substantial on offer. So, it won’t make any difference if you call Love Games, Hate Story 4.
To cut the chase short:
Roses are red, violets are blue.
Hey Vikram Bhatt, what did you do?
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha)