Blame it on Bollywood. For happy endings, for heroes who can dance, for the brazen glamorizing of silly love stories. Now, thanks to the happy brigade, we watch movies floating smugly on a cushion of clichés. Every time we sit through an unpleasant scene, we expect to be instantly placated. Surely the hero won't die. Surely he won't let them get away with that. Surely the pace will pick up once the Obstacles To Love show up…won't it? Nope, not with 7/G, a film that laughs in the face of convention. But it laughs alone.
The objective here was undoubtedly to shake you up some, leave you uncomfortable, deny you that airbag of comforting saves. Here's a film with a hero who is hopeless, awkward and downright repulsive at times. A love story that doesn't really get going till way after the intermission. And a plot that states gleefully that basic fact of life - shit happens.
Shit has been happening to Ravi (Ravi Krishna) for many years now. Fortunately he takes everything light. Despite constant thrashings from his father and sundry insults, he goes through life drinking with his hilarious cronies and failing impartially in all his college subjects. But everything changes when Anita (Sonia Agarwal) walks into his neighbourhood and straight into his heart. And the portrayal of this love is just as hammy as that last sentence.
Being a clueless roadside Romeo type, Ravi presses his suit through the routine methods: he engraves her name on his hand, he beats up other boys who look at his "figure", and he slips his hand into her dress. This last transgression just about does it for Anita and she gives him a solid piece of her mind, stressing to him in no uncertain terms that if he were the last cockroach on earth, she'd mate with a guy. Something to that effect.
To be fair to Ravi, he never meant to slip his hand into her dress. All he was trying to do was manhandle her gently in the bus. Is it his fault if the driver stepped on the brakes at that very second? Sadly, Ravi is used to being misunderstood. Now that the heroine hates his guts, we all know what's coming next. But who knew it would take this long?
Stuff happens and happens and, slowly, Anita realizes that Ravi really does love her and that, she, in turn, loves him back. We could have informed her of this and saved everyone a lot of time, but it's all over now. Their friendship is strange, but also kind of sweet, as Anita tries to find that scared little boy inside Ravi and give him the confidence he never had.
Obstacles To Love come in the form of Anita's militant parents and there's the usual slapping around and threatening business. We can't tell you what happens next because it's a big fat surprise. A surprise that is so not worth the wait and the sitting still for two-and-a-half hours, that you won't know whether to laugh or cry. There was a mixed reaction from the audience. Give us candy love stories any day. If we have to die, it might as well be at the hands of a familiar evil. Unpredictable death's the worst.