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The stingless sting of It’s Breaking News
It seems reality-based cinema or plots borne out of real issues are finding a firm foothold in Bollywood. It’s Breaking News is the latest film to fall into this genre. The film tells the story of the goings-on in a newschannel.
IT’S BREAKING NEWS deals with the day to day working of a news channel, Dateline, as the narrative unfolds through the life of the lead protagonist, Vidya (Koel Purie). Employed on the entertainment beat, she is persuaded to take to the crime beat. One day she gets a lead, rather a phone call from Sangeeta (Swati Sen) who tells her about the sexual exploitation she is undergoing because of her powerful tormentor, Gupta (Harsh Chhaya), an IPS of SP rank.
The sting operation nets DIG Dandekar instead with Gupta walking unscathed. Vidya is aghast at the apathy of her bosses at Dateline. A disillusioned Vidya decides to go to court, where Sangeeta takes her case back. Bala (Abhimanyu Singh) and Rafique (Atul Parchure) convince DIG Dandekar to do a sting operation on Gupta, where in a scuffle between DIG Dandekar and Gupta, Gupta gets killed. This is the basic storyline of the film. On the face of it the film has shades of Page 3 but while Page 3 was more realistic and hard-hitting, It’s Breaking News seems amateurish in its presentation. A probable reason could be the writing. The friction or conflict, if any (there is none I could find) lacks punch and as such the goings-on become mundane.
Technically, the film is not polished. The editing is tacky. There are very many sequences where the reaction shots just don’t match a scene’s mood. The screenplay doesn’t warrant the running time of one hour ten minutes and fifty-three minutes in the first and the second half. The film should ideally be cut to forty-five minutes and forty minutes respectively.
The writing is replete with half-baked characters: there is a fellow journalist, Trishna, who sleeps around to get leads for stories. There is the DIG’s wife and then there is the SP’s wife, both facing similar circumstances. With a fiddler for a husband, both take different stands. This point is totally lost owing to weak characterisations.
There is no build-up for the suicide by the DIG’s son. Even the sub-plot of Koel Purie’s fondness towards Abhimanyu Singh (akin to Atul Kulkarni-Konkana Sen Sharma in Page 3) is lost in the milieu. Apart from all these shortcomings the biggest flaw in the film is incorrect casting. The lead protagonist, essayed by Koel, lacks the vibrancy, conviction and emotive skills required of a good actor. In fact, the throw and the dialogue delivery of most of the actors leaves much to be desired.
Only two actors impress; the wronged, Swati Sen and her tormentor Harsh Chhaya. All others are just about average to bad. In a nutshell, this film with its basic plot centered on a sting operation is sting-less. Putting it in a curt manner, a poor imitation of Page 3, prompting one to croon “kitnee ajeeb films hain yahaan per…”
Rating: 3 on 10
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