If Inkaar has taught me one lesson: don’t sleep with your boss or Mayday Mayday

This movie never made it to my shores. An  interesting and multilayered film dealing with sexual harassment at the workplace. But if you think you learn something, then let’s cut to the chase. Don’t sleep with your boss. EVER. Under no circumstances. We know from experience how messy that can get. Case in point: Inkaar

A  panel of investigators is summoned to determine if a sexual harassment suit filed by the creative director of an ad agency, Maya (Chitrangda Singh)  against a CEO, Rahul  (Arjun Rampal)  has any merit and a solution can be found internally without creating too many waves. The questioning takes place over three days and we viewers  feel just as exhausted at the end of this film as the members of the panel. But then comes the film’s climax and we realize our sufferings were in vain.The two feuding parties were just trying to figure out how they feel about each other. Duh!

So what started out as a really interesting premise of He Said She Said, the whole muddiness of office romance, game of ambition, blame and accusation had me in its grip. Usually sexual harassment is about one willing and one unwilling party, but in this case there was mutual attraction and boundaries were crossed consensually An ambitious young attractive employee finds a mentor in her boss and climbs up the ladder.

To illustrate how young and dumb she was in the beginning of her odyssey we see Maya adorned with unattractive body piercings until she morphs into a sophisticated dame in accordance with her new position. of creative director, which turns her into a mean and patronizing boss who fires old tested employees at will. Maya never appears as a victim and never gets our full sympathy. except of course we ask ourselves, in order to climb the ladder in a company on the fast track, do we need to sleep our way up? and that’s a concern of many women. It’s legit. We see it happen all the time.  Maya does and gets somewhere fast. She has a good mind and everyday situations are converted into creative ideas that benefit the agency. So even if she hadn’t slept with her boss and mentor, she would have probably climbed up pretty fast. We understand his well-controlled rage and anger when she is being promoted and encroaches now on HIS territory.

We see their relationship play out in their reciprocal flashbacks. And our sympathies may switch from one to another as we can understand their viewpoints..

I was happy to see Chitrangda Singh, who had so impressed me in Desi Boyz. She is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful actresses in Bollywood these days. She exudes elegance and sophistication. Somehow she reminds me of Zeta-Jones.. What I loved about her in this role is, that she remained enigmatic to the end. A superbly nuanced performance.

This was a fantastic role for Arjun Rampal, too. I could too fall in  love him  and hate him and admire him, just as Maya. This emotional roller-coaster kept me glued to the story.The tension was building up, but helas, it collapsed like an undercooked souffle which you have pulled out of the oven with great anticipation and then see it sadly deflate.

I wish I could re-write some of Bollywood’s endings. They oftentimes feel rushed, clumsily put together and reverse the positive feelings you built up during the movie. No exception here. They should have brainstormed the ending maybe via a focus group. The climax and resolution was the weakest part. So weak indeed that I felt that I had wasted two hours of my time. Still, the characters resonated with me and I therefore I would recommend watching it to my friends, warning them ahead of time about a weak ending.


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