Mumbai, 12 Jul 2019 11:00 IST
This is probably the Marathi film with the worst acting of the year so far.
When you go to the theatre to watch a film, buying a ticket with your hard-earned money, the least you expect as the audience is an honest attempt to make a good film. That is why you are infuriated when you sense even a lack of intent to make a decent film.
Aditya Deshmukh (Raqesh Bapat) and Anagha Deshmukh (Anuja Sathe) are happily married. Aditya works in a big firm while Anagha is a homemaker. On their second anniversary, Anagha's friend warns her about how happily married couples also engage in extramarital affairs. Meanwhile, Rucha (Pallavi Shetty), daughter of Aditya's boss, joins the office as MD and Aditya starts receiving flirtatious WhatsApp messages from an unknown woman.
The film does start well and keep you engaged for the initial 20 minutes, but that's about it. Thereafter it simply flummoxes you with every passing minute as some of the decisions Aditya makes leave you confused.
Raqesh Bapat does a decent job of playing Aditya initially, but as the story moves forward his act becomes repetitive and even cartoonish. But you can't blame the actor too much as the wafer-thin script doesn't allow him scope to show any acting ability that he may possess.
Anuja Sathe doesn't have much to do here and, surprisingly, has lesser screen time than some of the supporting cast. The biggest disappointment, however, is the horrendous acting by the entire supporting cast. One can possibly tolerate a bad performance by one actor, but here it appears as if everyone had a secret contest among themselves to see who could put on the worst act. The performances make you want to hide your face in shame.
Writer-director Hemant Mahale has failed miserably on both fronts. His screenplay moves at a snail's pace even as he tries forcibly to create suspense around that single question: who is messaging Aditya?
Two obvious suspects are eliminated in the first half itself and that leaves you with a predictable and very boring second half. Though the director tries to spice things up by introducing a supposedly new character, that ploy too falls flat. The film tries to be too clever and outsmart the audience and gets tangled in its own web.
Unfortunately for the viewer, there is nothing else that they can focus on to take their mind off the terrible plot and performances. The cinematography is standard and the production design is not bad, but there is nothing to rave about. When a 120 minute film, a moderate length by Indian standards, starts to feel excruciatingly long, you know you have a major problem.
WhatsApp Love is the kind of film which makes you wonder who gave it the go-ahead and how.
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