Lost Movie Review: Promising premise, earnest performances, middling results
There is a lot going on in Lost, and yet, there is little that registers, and an overarching sense of nothingness flavours proceedings
At one point in Lost, a rather upbeat journalist Vidhi Sahni (Yami Gautam) walks around the city of Kolkata trying to solve the missing case of street theatre activist, Ishaan Bharti (Tushar Pandey). She misses an appointment to meet with her own family to investigate the disappearance, but somehow, manages to reach the right people at the right time to get the right information.
While this might seem like a series of fortunate coincidences, Vidhi is, in fact, a tough-as-nails journalist who doesn't get bogged down by threats even from the most powerful. Yet, even for someone like Vidhi, it just seems too easy.
Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Cast: Yami Gautam, Pankaj Kapur, Tushar Pandey, Rahul Khanna
Streaming on: ZEE5
Films based on journalism have usually burst with optimism, but Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's follow-up to Pink doesn't really paint a rosy picture. There is some commentary about the naxal movement, Maoist influences, and there are politicians influencing people's perceptions of a revolution. We also get a side track about Ishaan and his girlfriend and journalist Ankita Chauhan (Pia Bajpiee), through which the film shares some commentary on the ambitions of a small-town girl. We also see a suave politician Ranjan Varman (Rahul Khanna), who is a major player in the State's politics and is able to make an MLA of an ex-journalist with unsettling ease. There is a lot going on in Lost, and yet, there is little that registers. Poignant themes are explored, but an overarching sense of nothingness flavours proceedings.
Apart from the presence of Pankaj Kapur, who plays Vidhi's worldly wise grandfather, everyone else fails to inject a sense of urgency into the narrative. We see deaths and abduction, but learn about them with a sense of detachment, like they are headlines in a newspaper.
Lost is not a wholly lost cause though, and Yami Gautam is compelling and convincing as the protagonist who is steadfast in her ideals but finds the system resistant to her ethics. Vidhi has a certain aspirational quality to her, but the film doesn't always register this. It glosses through major incidents, and when the proverbial other shoe drops, it expects us to collectively rally behind a cause simply because it's 'important'. This leaves you dealing with content that feels less like a gripping drama and more like an academic lecture.