Monday, September 21, 2009

Being Cyrus

Movie Review : Being Cyrus
Genre : Black Comedy
Release : 2005
Language : English
Cast : Saif Ali Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia, Simone Singh
My Rating : 7 out of 10

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started watching the movie. Or maybe I should say, I had the wrong idea ! The photo on the DVD cover clearly indicated - or so I thought - that this was a lighthearted comedy. And sure enough, the movie began like one. But in the end, the photo turned out to be as misleading as the name of the movie !

The movie does begin with Cyrus - the lead character played by Saif Ali Khan - narrating about his life in foster homes. Quickly he starts narrating about his visit to Dinshaw (Naseeruddin Shah) and his wife Katy (Dimple Kapadia) - leaving in a remote estate in Panchgani. Dinshaw is a retired pottery artist, well past his prime, leaving on inheritance. Katy is bored housewife. As a Parsi couple, they have their eccentricities and set the tone of the movie - light and humorous.

Dinshaw's father is a rich landlord. But the other son Farokh (Boman Irani) keeps complete control of all the affairs and forces the rich dad to live a poor, jailed life. Even Farokhs's wife Tina (Simone Singh) is scared of him. In spite of this, the tone of the movie still remains humorous.

Katy convinces Cyrus to visit her father in law and sends some money, chocolate candies for the old man. And slowly the movie starts getting darker. It never loses the comedy part completely, but by the end, it becomes quite twisted. I won't give away any more details. Just be prepared for something more than simple comedic relief.

It's a very well acted film. In spite of the name, the movie is not just about Cyrus. Other characters get significant share of the screen time and everyone is effortless. The direction by Homi Adajania is up to the task.

I am unsure how many viewers would enjoy the mix of comedy with the criminal intentions of the characters. I think it depends on the expectations. I wanted to watch a nice comedy and wasn't really looking for twists and turns. I still enjoyed the movie, and can definitely recommend it. Make sure you don't watch it in front of kids.

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