Roy review: This is a confused, slow, self-indulgent film

  • Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 14, 2015 13:04 IST

Film: Roy
Vikramjit Singh
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandes
Rating: 2/5

"Kam Zyada, sahi galat, in sab cheezon ka main hisaab nahi rakhta." Two different characters say this in completely different situations in Roy. To some extent, this dialogue also gives us a peek into director Vikramjit Singh's modus operandi: Somewhere he seems to be telling us that filmmaking is just an indulgence for him... that the final product is immaterial for him.

Ranbir Kapoor's Roy is ambitious: it wants to look slick, is not stingy with throwing around an attitude to go with it, and though it could ride piggyback on a decent background music that builds all the promise. Sadly, the only thing Roy succeeds in excelling is in confusing the viewer. It just fails to live up to any of the pre-release hype.

We were told, then, that this is a heist film, and as the release date came closer, we also came to know that it is a romantic movie as well. We suspect it was an afterthought, considering that the film hit theatres so close to Valentine's Day. So what is this movie which stars Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandes? Frankly, we have no clue!

Roy certainly is no heist film. Kabir Grewal (Arjun Rampal) is a casanova and celebrated-director who finds his latest inspiration in another filmmaker Ayesha Aamir (Jacqueline Fernandes). Is this yet another number on Kabir's list of affairs or could there be something deeper? Kabir is writing a film called Roy and the characters of Roy and Kabir keep overlapping a little too much. Towards the end, Ayesha asks Kabir, "Tum Kabir ho ya Roy?", summing up the audience's confusion: Who is Roy? Is Roy (Ranbir), a character in Kabir's film or does he exist out of the frames as well?

Arjun looks convincing as the self-indulgent filmmaker: He is "arrogant", and therefore "obnoxious" too. Ranbir, on the other hand, has less screen space than Rampal and fits into the shoes of the actor/thief effortlessly. Anupam Kher and Rajit Kapur, who play pivotal roles in Roy, are impressive. For a change, Jacqueline does get a chance to add a little to the movie.

The good thing about Roy is that you get to see some of the most breathtaking sceneries from around the world (think wide shots and dark-grey colours). Shot in Malaysia, it also boasts of some of the most beautiful beach sequences.

Not that there is nothing else to redeem this film. It has its moments of glory . Some of the monologues of Arjun are touching and insightful. It has some very good songs, and the haunting background music adds to the hope of watching a romantic thriller. The movie delves a lot on philosophy -- on both life and love. Interestingly, Vikramjit tries to juxtapose philosophies with mainstream Bollywood filmmaking.

Sadly, that is exactly where Roy fails too. Its story is an absolute drag, and eventually ends up losing the plot much before the film ends. In fact the last twenty minutes or so in the movie are far better than the rest of the 147-minutes long film. It brings perspective to both the love story and the story of the thief. If only, Vikramjit had made the whole film in the same spirit as well.

Roy review: Meaningless and sluggish plot presented skillfully

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