Rating: *** ½
First of all, hats off to Alizeh’s father actor Atul Agnihotri for launching his daughter in an unconventional film instead of a boy-meets-girl,and woh puppy wala love.
To do more of the same would have served no purpose. The cast of new kids in Farrey helmed by Alizeh sparkles with confidence, not misplaced I may add. The script, adapted from an interesting Thai film Bad Genius, gives the newcomers a chance to sparkle. They make the best of it.
Alizeh has a sober thoughtful presence, far removed from the gym-constructed mannequins who flood Filmistan furiously.Prassanna Bisht as Alizeh’s new upmarket best friend and Sahil Singh as Alizeh’s comrade from the unprivileged sector , put in performances that require them to be agile and fragile.
Significantly, Alizeh’s new uppity friends are all exceedingly fair-complexioned thereby reinforcing the politics of skin pigmentation that has ruled our country for ever.
And then there is Ronit Roy playing a down-to-earth honest-to-goodness benefactor . Does Ronit ever disappoint?
Director Soumendra Padhi gives the youngsters ample space to work out their own confusions regarding their social status. Does privilege equal to empowerment? That is a question raised with instinctive impunity. This dichotomy between the haves and the have-not is especially represented by Aakash who , like Niyati comes from a humble background , but chooses not to swing towards capitalism , only to succumb fully later. Akash is the most crucial connect in the plot’s ‘Upstairs-Downstairs’ analogy and a shout-out to Sahil Mehta for playing Akash so fluently.
There is remarkable visual fluency to the film , shot by the Japanese cinematographer Keiko Nakahara who earlier shot Tanhaj . Farrey holds our attention till the last . The climactic battle of wits between Niyati and the Australian authorities is far-fetched but engaging.