Arjun's 70 mm portfolio!
Money is the root cause of all evil.
It took Ashok Mehta almost six years to prove this point. Because that's how long it has taken him to release Moksha - Salvation.
Unfortunately, the film is a case of what could have been. The cinematographer Ashok Mehta is visible in almost every frame of the film. Sitting through Moksha is like watching a big commercial ad film.
Awesome cinematography and narrative technique notwithstanding, the screenplay tended to be haphazard, going off on a tangent at any given time.
For the greater good of humanity, sometimes people have to resort to a lesser evil. So we have Vikram Saigal (Arjun Rampal), a student of law quite disillusioned with the existing legal system. He refuses to work for any law firm. And spends his time riding horses and driving his jeep.
Enter Ritika (Manisha Koirala). She has an enormous crush on the debonair horseman and tries to woo him but to no avail. She finally buys him an expensive painting, gets invited for tea and the two of them fall in love.
Between his girlfriend, jeep and horse, Vikram also wants to set up an establishment which offers free legal advice and expertise to the poor and needy. Such a venture needs money. Which Vikram very presumptuously expects his family and friends to give him.
Needless to say, they don't share his sentiments. Thus begin his problems. Here on the film takes a bizarre twist and goes off on many tangents: A murder, a court scene and some very weird dream sequences before the final climax.
To the director's credit, the scenes have a very surreal feel to them. The black-and-white scenes are simply breathtaking. But when put together, they fail to add to the narrative. The songs are okay, though they crop up at unwanted times. The background score, on the other hand, is fantastic.
Moksha was supposed to be Arjun Rampal's debut film. The director has taken special care to present it just that way. The camera has focused on Arjun the way a painter would on his muse. In that sense, Moksha is more a 70-mm portfolio for Arjun Rampal than a story.
Manisha Koirala has put in a good performance but manages to look different in every scene. Even her makeup is inconsistent. One moment, her face is heavily made up. The next it is absolutely bereft of makeup.
Maybe that is because of the long time it took to make the film.
I would recommend this film only to hardcore fans of Arjun Rampal and Manisha Koirala. And, of course, those interested in some very good cinematography.
Maverick Ashok Mehta finds salvation!
The music review of Moksha