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Raghu Romeo

A LITTLE bit sweet, a little bit comic and a bit of real life's dregs, make for a film that is "Raghu Romeo." With a simple, unpretentious story, the film looks at a slice of life with sensitivity and a slight smile.

You would be smiling too when Raghu, believes that Neetaji is for real. Well she could be as real as he wants, to the extent that he runs his uninspiring, dull, meagre life based on what she spouts — on TV that is. For, Neetaji is a Sati Savitri in a popular serial called `Dard Ka Rishta.' But Neetaji alias Reshma, is oblivious of Raghu's adoration.

Then there is Mario, a rotund small time hit man who does his job. And believes in it. If he has to murder someone, he will do it. He passes time, when not `working,' at the small dance bar — one of those seedy night clubs that dot Mumbai, where he loves to watch Sweety dance and maybe hope and try for something more. ButSweety is only willing to dance and is pretty adept at handling leering men. Sweety has also given her heart to someone else. She has a huge soft spot for Raghu who is a waiter at this bar and a stickler for certain rules — no wonder Sweety likes him. Now someone from the underworld wants Reshma aka Neetaji dead. Guess who is hired for this task? And as days go by Mario discovers that killing is no easy task, especially when Raghu (who, after being thrown out of the bar for meddling with customers, is now his driver) keeps hollering out to Neetaji every time Mario aims his gun at her. Several futile, foiled attempts later, Mario plans a scheme where they could kidnap Neetaji and then do the needful.

Raghu is now ready to do something to save Neetaji, at any cost! Watch out for this part. It is really funny. And also look out for those innocuous little details during a shoot. So what happens next? One has to see the film to know howRaghu comes to terms with his Neetaji — how Mario comes to terms with Sweety being in love with Raghu — the underworld becomes weary of chasing Neetaji — and a glimmer of true love emerges. It is most engaging.

Rajat Kapoor who has been seen more as an actor comes into his own in this directorial venture. He has been able to harness the brilliance of Vijay Raaz as an actor and bring to focus the humility and charm of the character that is Raghu. Saurabh Shukla as Mario is cute despite being a hit man. And Maria Goretti as Reshma or Neetaji plays her part extremely well especially towards the end where she begins to form an equation with Raghu. Sadia Siddiqui as Sweety takes her time to bond with the audience but it happens eventually.

This NFDC venture has some very unobtrusive music by Pritam, and the dialogue by Saurabh Shukla is consistently comic. But if you don't pay attention, you could miss some of the deadpan humour.

CHITRA MAHESH

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