Thursday, October 27, 2011
#225: A Decent Arrangement
MAMI 2011 Review Series: To read the first one click here.
Director: Sarovar Banka
Gist: A Indian-born American Ashok (Adam Laupus) returns to his home town in Chandigarh. A Decent Arrangement is the story of his adventures towards the pursuit of an Indian bride in a land he is returning to after years.
Script: It takes time to establish the context of it all but once its done, the story chugs along merrily. There's more than a trace of predictability but one could say that the performances carry the movie home. Banka liberally and rightfully uses humor in serious exchanges between the characters to keep the story alive and kicking and it works.
Acting: To begin with, as an audience we don't see any jarring out-of-place characters. As a result, we gladly partake the actors as shown to us. Adam Laupus as the lead is a witless, almost boring individual who doesn't quite know what he wants out of his prospective bride. Shabani Azmi and Vikram Kapadia do leave a mark in their roles as the conservative aunt and the happy-go-lucky father of the groom. Lethia Nall who has such an uncanny resemblance to Amy Adams is passable in a cameo.
Filmmaking craft: Admirable for a first time director. Once Banka sets the premise, he takes us on a ride that is relatable in more ways than one. A particular scene of a vegetable vendor arguing with Shabana Azmi is straight out of anyone's life who has been out with their mother shopping. Such realism is abundant in A Decent Arrangement and that is the movie's core strength. The photography is simplistic and well-suited for the story. If anything, the movie could've picked up some pace and wrapped up fifteen minutes earlier.
Piece de resistance moments: None.
In a nutshell: An enjoyable watch.