Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mantra : Movie Review

‘Mantra’ of Life!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark

Nicholas Kharkongor’s debut feature film ‘Mantra’ tells us that how you handle life in adversities decides whether you are ‘for’ life or ‘against’ life. The 1990’s saw the advent of globalization and liberalization. The Indian market saw hope as well as doom. The MNCs challenged the then home grown market leaders in every possible manner through their cutting edge technology, quality product and services clubbed with competitive pricing and innovative business strategies. King Chips is one such company that faces the music and witnesses pathetically it getting replaced on the stores shelves across the country by Kipper chips the new MNC product round the corner.

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Kapil Kapoor aka KK the entrepreneur who owns King Chips understands the new market ‘Mantra’ but then fails miserably to keep the boat sailing. KK’s challenge in life is two pronged – One, a business that is dwindling away and two, a dysfunctional family. KK’s family comprises of Meenakshi, his barrister wife, Viraj his elder son who is a restaurateur who owns ‘Mantra’, Piya, his daughter who also dons the hat of a chef in her brother’s restaurant and who ferociously seeks her independence from the family now and then, and the last but not the least Vir, KK’s youngest son who is in his sweet sixteen and is in a virtual relationship with a married woman.

You don’t need much resources to battle the challenges life poses, except one – your family’s support and belief in you. KK understands this truth but it seems that it’s too late for him to cobble up the required support and trust. KK with his bunch of school and college buddies do have their own me time but the loner in KK seeks answers to many pertinent questions alone. He believes in the old adage strongly –“The family that eats together stays together”! Apart from being film critic, as a corporate trainer I conduct workshops on –“Silos to Synergy”. After watching Nicholas’s ‘Mantra’, I realized that the above mentioned topic is so apt for families too. KK’s family eats together but live in silos. The movie is an eye opener for many of us who are too busy without any business in life. Each character in Mantra is a classic example of many we find families today.

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This 90 minutes film Mantra though a bit slow paced is a onetime watch. It could have been better but cannot be ignored. It doesn’t end necessarily with a conclusion, may be the filmmaker want the viewers to come to their own conclusions and derive their takeaways from KK’s life. Rajat Kapoor as always infuse life into KK’s character and Kalki is a natural actor. Adil Hussain in his cameo stnds apart as a migrant from Jharkhand in Delhi. Shiv Pandit as Viraj and Lushin Dubey as Meenakshi has done a good job.

 Does KK manage to deal with the emergence of Kipper chips and give a tough competition? What does he do to keep his family by falling apart? What happens to the young lad Vir and his virtual relationship? Does Piya strike a deal for her freedom in her family! Can Viraj be of any help to his father’s sinking business? What happens to KK and Meenakshi’s married life? Will they drift apart? To find answers to these questions please visit your nearby theatre and find your own ‘Mantra’ for life.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3 /5

Cast:Rajat Kapoor (Kapil Kapoor), Shiv Pandit (Viraj), Kalki Koechlin (Piya), Lushin Dubey (Meenakshi), Rohan Joshi (Vir), Adil Hussain (Cameo), Yuri Suri (Mohan Kaul), Maya Krishna Rao (Shazia Siddiqui)

Genre: Family Drama

Director: Nicholas Kharkongor

Crowd funded

Creative Producer: Rajat Kapoor

Senior Executive Producer: Nikhil Chaudhury, Prashant Sehgal

Writer: Nicholas Kharkongor

Music by: Sagar Desai

Cinematography: Harmeet Basur

Presented By: Filmart Productions, north East Films, Shri Productions, Zenyth Media House

Release Date: 17th March, 2017

Duration: 90 Minutes

Language: Bilingual (Hindi & English)