03 December, 2020

Going Nowhere

‘Such a Long Journey’ fails to exploit the potential of the cast or Rohinton Mistry’s book

Going Nowhere
Such utter profligacy! Not even in their worst forays into Bollywood junk have Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri been wasted quite as senselessly as in Such a Long Journey. Playing Research and Analysis Wing (raw) agents involved in an undercover operation to fund the Bengali resistance in what was then East Pakistan, they flit in and out of the film like two little schoolboys desperately averse to attending classes. They may have done more unremarkable movies, but, for sure, the two accomplished actors have never done more forgettable work.
True, the characters that Shah and Puri play in Icelandic-Canadian director Sturla Gunnarsson’s screen adaptation of Rohinton Mistry’s acclaimed novel of the same name necessarily exist on the fringes of the narrative: they are catalysts, not the protagonists.

But there is absolutely nothing in Sooni Taraporevala’s script that can even remotely justify their presence in the cast. Their fate, in a way, sums up the film: Such a Long Journey is a sad tale of missed opportunities. Such wonderful source material, such a fascinating...



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