'Yeh Faasley' is a movie too painful to watch. And the tragedy in that is the fact that it has an interesting story to tell, with enough twists and turns to keep you hooked, with some great performances being turned by a gifted set of actors, but it's a film ultimately let down by a complete lack of direction.
The plot of the film, Mittal's execution of it notwithstanding, is quite gripping, bearing some debt to 'Rashomon', dealing with different versions of the truth, which is what the title, 'Yeh Faasley', refers to, the distance or 'faasla', between perceptions and reality. Dev Dua is a violently hot headed 'Jat' industrialist and a widower. The film picks from the point where his daughter Arunima returns home from her years at boarding school and college, only to discover through various clues that her loving father might have had a hand in her mother's tragic death, which might even have been a suicide. The catalyst in her discovery is a chance meeting she has with a mysterious Raja, Digvijay, who apparently shared a past with her parents, and is assisted in her efforts to discover the truth by her boyfriend Manu, a young lawyer. Of course, the truth she discovers is bound to be stranger than fiction.
With Anupam Kher in the spotlight as Dev Dua, 'Yeh Faasley' starts off on a strong footing. Kher is superb and powerful as the mercurial Dua, driven by his insecurities about coming from a commoner's background while married to a royal. But with insipid dialogues to mouth and maladroit direction, Dev's very characterisation turns hammy at points. Pawan Malhotra too is hampered by a rather sketchy characterisation as the royal Diggy Raja, seeming a bit ungainly in the role. Veterans like Seema Biswas, Rajendra Gupta, Suhasini Mulay and Kiran Kumar are wasted away in bit roles.
In Tena Desae's Arunima, Mittal picks his weakest link to tie the story together. Though pretty, Desae needs a lot of polish on the acting side, her attempts at emoting being especially painful to watch. Desae needs to improve on her dialogue delivery as well, with her narration through the film turning out rather grating. Stage regular Rushad Rana tries his best to back her up as Manu, but doesn't come off quite as convincing.
At the core of all of the film's troubles is the ham handed direction that Yogesh Mittal doles out. Mittal isn't sure of what he wants to make the film, whether it's a murder mystery, or a crime thriller, a courtroom drama or a film about a father daughter relationship. The constant flashbacks to Dev and his wife's earlier days don't help the narrative in any way, nor do Arunima's frequent bouts of sobbing and dramatically questioning her father's character. Instead, he introduces plot elements like Dev referring to his mother in law, the queen mother's sinister character, and then never builds on it.
On the dialogue side, it's a classic case of 'teen tigade, kaam bigade', with Manurishi Chaddha, Atul Tiwari and Mittal himself collaborating and still being unable to come up with a single sentence worth remembering, instead going with such banal lines like “hum mazduron ka music se kya lena”.
Mittal's use of music too is quite lumpish, bringing in songs at the most random points and using his background score in the most uninspiring ways. Composer Deepak Pandit needs to come up with more memorable music if he is to make his mark in the industry.
One comes off with the feeling that Mittal has picked the most apt title for his film here, as there's a great void, a 'faasla' between the story he's picked and his capabilities in translating it onto the screen. Until he manages to fill this void and improve on his directorial skills, the best thing to would be to keep one's distance from confused flicks like 'Yeh Faasley'.