‘X’ – Past is present, but story is absent.

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There are films you want to like so much and eagerly await its release, while most have no clue there’s any such film about to get released. You anticipate an experiment transpiring on the silver screen that might richly reward you or mercilessly bore you.

Yet you take a chance, at the risk of being told by the Box Office guy that the show has been cancelled owing to not enough people showing up for the particular film. You get almost yell out a cheer on actually getting the ticket, despite just 4 people inside the auditorium. You thank your stars and brace yourself up for a yet another ‘Court’, ‘Aankhon Dekhi’, ‘Ship of Theseus’ or ‘Titli’. Well, not every time.

‘X- Past is present’, directed by the cricket-team-turned-directors: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Hemant Gaba, Nalan Kumaraswamy, Pratim D Gupta, Q, Suparn, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath, and film critic Raja Sen. Quoting the saying, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ would indeed be an injustice here because the premise is irresistibly intriguing, but the eleven players miss out on an intrinsic part of a film: The story.

The ‘what will happen next’ thing keeps you glued to the screen, which means missing out on something while checking what your online friends are up to (Eventually, you’ll learn that you didn’t miss anything except just another girl). The problem is the film never really takes off.

Rajat Kapoor, playing the titular role ‘K’ and Anshuman Jha as his younger version fit to their characters to the ‘K’. There’s a scene in the film, where Rajat Kapoor rants about God that he needs a better scriptwriter, one can’t help echoing the same jeremiad about the eleven gods of ‘X- Past is present’.

The other ruse against ‘X- Past is present’ is that our filmmakers tend to always portray creative professionals like artists, filmmakers or advertising professionals as womanizers. This film makes no exception. If you pardon the filmmakers for such common crime, they go ahead and experiment with the editing and narrate stories of ten girls and expect the audience to keep a track of such shuffle, only to be disappointed later.

Nevertheless, the film has its own share of gems. For instance, the scene where Rajat Kapoor drugs his housemaid in a desperate attempt to make her help him with writer’s block. The interview scene featuring Huma Qureshi (Gorgeous as always) fantastically directed by Raja Sen, which draws the audience closer the character of K – his fears, his masked confidence, his insecurities and reluctance in taking up an advertising job and so forth.  The entire sequence of South India towards the film’s end are surely what makes ‘X-Past is present’ a film you won’t abhor, but won’t adore either.

The film comes across as a desperate wannabe of Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, which precisely what it ends up being ‘a wannabe’. Sadly though, the moment ‘X- Past is present’ actually becomes interesting, the credits roll. Swara Bhaskara makes her presence felt. Biryani will never be the same again.

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