Sha" is a movie that revolves around the lives of three individuals who search for happiness and love in a cold and unforgiving metro, as they get entangled in a series of events that changes them.Wikipedia
Given Onir’s experience in creating interesting characters grappling with the kind of personal demons not usually seen in Bollywood, especially in his last outing I Am, Shab should have been a far more accomplished film. All these are characters, fleshed properly, could have given us a film.
This is a complicated story with numerous sub-plots that seem rather overwhelming. Onir’s expertise at handling the darkest subjects with sensitivity and the actors’ impressive performances ensure you have a sinfully extravagant film at hand.
Despite broaching on the politics and power play of homosexual relationships and noting the inconsistency of acceptance, Shab is coy about sexuality and sleepy in its reflections of loneliness to get anywhere.
Raveena Tandon shines in a role that was clearly written for her in this performance heavy film. Ashish Bisht uses his innocence and fluid body language to show his transformation from a struggler to becoming a name.
This is not a family entertainer or a film which everyone would like to watch. But if you are enthusiastic about stories dealing with the complexities of relationships in the urban life and can sit through boring films then you might like this.
But what makes this film more than just a sensational piece of cinema is its reflection into relationships. Four stories get intertwined as the characters keep crossing paths. While the narrative isn’t always crystal clear, the emotions are strong and the story of Shab is its strength.
Glaring loopholes like Mohan's attraction towards Raina and the reason for Sonal's attraction towards other men is not explained or the maker wants us to believe it or take it as it comes. Unwanted back stories (The French neighbor past) are added just to make it feel intense but it fails to work.
Onir’s direction goes with the drama but his quest to be different limits the appeal of his narration. The emphasis on gay characters and male body exposure will not go down well with many among the audience.
The film is erratic in engaging and evoking empathy. Some parts are endearing, and a lot of it might seem extra. It has an interesting premise and innovative structure, and the music prevails through its jump cuts, creating a sense of unison, but the film drags at a slow pace.
Shab tries its best to avoid clichés and comes across as a thought provoking film that offers a refreshing take on human relationships in the modern world that's driven by opportunism and hypocrisy. However, Shab is far from being a seamless film in that it unravels like a puzzle and may therefore end up puzzling the average viewer looking for a straightforward story of love and heartbreak. Yes, there is plenty of that in Shab but Onir like any intelligent filmmaker hates to spoon-feed his audience. The only way to enjoy the film is to lend yourself completely to its ebbs and flows or else you are better off skipping it altogether.
The only plus-point of the film is that it is non-judgmental, which is expected from Onir. It may not be atrocious as “Bas Ek Pal,” which remains one of the worst films I have ever watched, but it is listless, too tiresome despite its 108-minute length, and with all the unanswered questions and fence-sitting at the end, a complete waste of time.