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Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Review

Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.
Samrat Sharma / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
6.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Reema Kagti's debut movie as director is another one of those middling, passable films that have lots of promise, but fail to build up on their strengths. It's frustrating to see such amount of hard work go waste just because the filmmakers didn't try to reach that extra bit. In the case of Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., it is the sub par screenplay and the reluctance to go that extra mile that hurts its chances of being a solid entertainer.

The film has got a solid cast of likable and interesting characters – there's a Bengali couple comprising of a buttoned-down husband (Menon) and a wife who wants to spread her wings (Sen); a perfect Parsi couple, young and in love, who never fight (Deol and Lamba); and a Gujarati arranged-married pair where the husband (Shorey) can't get the new bride (Mirza) to open up to him. Also, there's the Delhi-ite – boisterous and filmy and very much in love with the idea of marriage (Patel) – and her husband who may be confused in his sexual orientation (Khanna).

Another couple is made up of an NRI Sikh (Chatwal) and a bindaas Mumbai girl (Mridul) who met through the Internet, and the last is the elderly duo, both on their second marriages after their spouses died (Irani and Azmi). To add to the already burgeoning list of characters, there is the bus driver and his nephew, and a mysterious motorcyclist following all of them from Mumbai.

The first mistake Kagti makes is by thinking that having an interesting milieu for the cast and giving them some local accents or dialogues to speak is a better substitute for a solid plot. Each of the characters have some back stories and some secrets that may threaten to change the dynamics of their relationships. All of these are treated as important reveals to be protected from the audience till the end, while only giving them hints to savor. Which is all well and good, but that leaves little for the characters to do or say until the turning point in their stories appear.

It's not that it's a badly made film where the director has no idea how to balance six separate couples. From the first day of the honeymoon, the stories begin to unravel, and this continues till the honeymoon package ends. It's a short and leanly made urbane flick, and that helps it immensely. Every character gets the screen-time necessary for his or her story, and not too much effort is wasted on filling the hours and inserting random gags.

Also, the acting overall is top notch. Kay Kay Menon has the strongest story, couples wise, and also the most immediately recognizable characterization. He plays his role with his usual earnestness, as does Boman Irani, who is having a blast in his role as an old but newly married guy. He’s paired with Shabana, and the couple explore loneliness and the rediscovery of life with subtle performances suited to the roles. Shorey is as usual excellent, and I can't believe that he is still treated this shabbily by filmmakers and given a 5-minute role that anyone could have done.

Everybody else does at least an acceptable job, and it helps that most of the roles are of the light breezy variety, not requiring any serious histrionics. The well cast, if not always suitably utilized, characters are used almost entirely to shoulder the screenplay's absence. The resolutions are not always well-staged, and the secrets, when revealed, do not have the requisite impact. While the dialog is fresh and crisp in most places, the background score is absolutely appalling. Sidhwani, Akhtar and Excel Entertainment have stuck to using sync sound as always, but need to master its proper use yet.

However ridiculous the script may have been, Kagti has strength in her direction skills, and shows immense promise in most of the character beats. She seems to have absolutely no control over the production, but her understanding of the characterizations she employs is strong. This is a film that definitely entertains for the 2 hours it lasts, but is not a substantial film, nevertheless.

Kagti and her team do not reach out to make the most of the potential the interesting bunch of characters and the crackerjack setting provide, and the stories remain tepid by the time they end. Even a dash of the superhuman – yes, superhuman – does not help in the end.

*Sigh*. This is the third film I have watched this week that squanders the possibilities of being great, and instead contends itself with being merely halfway decent. It lacks the hunger to become another Khosla Ka Ghosla, though it does pretend to be one. Go for a half decent time, but don't expect to be guffawing out of the film theater.
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HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT. LTD. SNAPSHOT
Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (hindi) reviews
USER RATING
5.0
15 USERS
RATE
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Amisha Patel, Karan Khanna, Vikram Chatwal, Sandhya Mridul, Diya Mirza, Ranvir Shorey, Abhay Deol, Minissha Lamba, Arjun Rampal
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Music
    Vishal-Shekhar
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Director
    Reema Kagti
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
    1 user says this is wrong.
HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT. LTD. USER REVIEWS
1 - 4 OF 4 COMMENTS
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
5.0
15 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Can watch again - Yes
Good for kids - Unsure
Good for dates - Yes
Wait to rent it - Yes
AamchiHyd on 3rd Sep 2009, 11:51pm | Permalink
Portuguese man-of-war...I sitll feel a lot of the plot was revealed in the review, but see your point too, in retrospect. I was just on a high after watching a well-made ensemble piece, which was not only smart, but also entertaining enough. I was hoping for audiences to be surprised by those aspects esp., and felt that this review might hamper that experience. In addition, I still disagree with the assessment made, but as you mentioned, that is subjective. I did express my opinions as a typical fanboy though, and perhaps should avoid that.

Pros: Script, Direction, Performances
Cons:
RATING
9
Portuguese Man-Of-War on 1st Mar 2007, 7:47am | Permalink
Aamchi, I fail to understand what plot was revealed. How can anyone reviewing a film say any lesser of the plot than what this reviewer did? He's just given the profiles of 6 couples, and said nothing else of what happens in the film. As for your 5-star rating for the film, you are essentially saying this ranks on par with the best films you ever watched. And that's still a personal opinion.
RATING
6
Aamchi Hyd on 1st Mar 2007, 12:12am | Permalink
Sad to see reviews coming from persons who do not know what it is to keep the review spoiler-free (thus stealing most viewers of what could have been a fresh experience). Anyone reading any review usually loses the chance to make up their own minds about an effort, and this is rendered worse when crucial plot details are revealed (no matter how sudoku-ishly cloaked they might be). I watched this movie without knowing a single thing about it save what has been shown on the promos, and it was a real nice experience. If one thought Eklavya saved on running length, that person would have to watch this to understand what the phrase 'economy of effort' is all about. While most of the points mentioned in Samrat's review are spot on (just the positive ones), the ones that are critical to this effort simply reflect a lack of understanding on the part of the author about what really goes into making a sparse, taut, focussed screenplay. I am also sure that Reema Kagti will not let her detractors win, and go on to make other similarly superlative efforts. Reema, never mind the Nareshs and the Samrats, you have a niche audience that are not homophobic and are smart enough to allow a little fantasy element to creep into an otherwise grounded-in-reality plot. Kudos also to controlled performances by Shabana, Boman, Karran Khanna and Amisha Patel (in addition to excellent turns by KK and Raima, who has 2 feathers in her cap along with Eklavya; and also Sandhya and Vikram, who capture the nuances of their characters perfectly). If it were not for some compromises made in showing few other character arcs, and some talking down to the audience that's done towards the end, where there is also a big 'suspension of disbelief' (don't tell me we havn't dealt with that one before) factor, this movie would have been picture perfect. I'd conclude with, Go watch it again. I sure am gonna do that.
RATING
10
Naresh on 28th Feb 2007, 7:51pm | Permalink
Probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Totally senseless !!
RATING
2
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