Film: "B.A. Pass 2"
Director: Shadab Khan
Cast: Kritika Sachdeva, Sasho Satiiysh Saarathy, Sanghmitra Hitaishi, Indraneil Sengupta, Aarav Choudhary, Saurabh Dubey, Shubhangi Latkar and Sukhbir Kaur Lamba
Produced by the same producer - Narendra Singh who had earlier released "B.A. Pass" in 2013, this film "B.A. Pass 2" is neither a sequel nor a neo-noir. Also, it is not as sleazy as its predecessor. So, in that sense, beware. This film shares no familiarity with its namesake.
Written and directed by Shadab Khan, this film is a staid, linear and outdated tale of Neha Singh (Kritika Sachdeva), a young girl from Bhopal who wants to defy norms and traditions. After completing her studies, in order to avoid marriage and against her father's wishes Neha moves away to Mumbai.
How she leads an independent life and later regrets, forms the crux of the tale.
The writing is superfluous. While the story has all the trappings of an intense potboiler, the film is mounted on a sober note. Like any other character driven plot, the narrative is slow paced and packed with mundane facts that help to build the personality.
Most of the characters have shades of grey which is so mild that it makes them seem intriguing yet unexciting. Also, the back stories of some the characters are half-baked and askew, especially that of Manorama (Sanghmitra Hitaishi), the acquaintance who shares her room with Neha and Rajdeep (Aarav Choudhary), the advertising honcho and Neha's well-wisher.
The character Neha is designed as a middle-class, small town girl, who is curious but lacks passion and ambition. She dreams of making it big in life independently, but refuses to work hard to achieve her goal. This simply makes the character seem shallow, unstable and weak, not worth idol worshipping or getting emotionally hooked to.
Kritika Sachdeva plays her part to perfection. She displays what her director envisages her to portray. She is aptly supported by Sasho Satiiysh Saarathy as Vijay, his transformation from an ever obliging estate agent to a spiteful conniving husband, is worth a watch.
Sanghmitra Hitaishi as Manorama, Aarav Choudhary as Rajdeep and Indraneil Sengupta as Neha's boyfriend and her film's producer Ritesh along with Shubhangi Latkar as Neha's mother, are all natural and effortless.
Saurabh Dubey though a competent actor, hams as Neha's father. Also there seems to be a lip-sync issue with his dubbing.
Mounted with moderate production values the production designs are appropriate and realistic. The visuals by Shakil A. Khan's lens are clear and sharp but Mansoor Azmi's editing is a bit slack. Transitions in certain scenes are clumsily handled. Amit Sawant and Geet Vani's background score along with Rajendra Shivv's music brings the screen to life.