Starfish Movie Review: Milind Soman's Film Is Lost In Its Own Oceanic Metaphors

Starfish Review: Planning to watch the Khushalii Kumar, Ehan Bhat and Tusharr Khanna starrer? Read our before heading to the cinema!

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Starfish

Critic's Ratings

starstarstarstarstar

3

Starfish Movie Review Milind Somans Film Is Lost In Its Own Oceanic Metaphors
?Starfish Review: Khushalii Kumar's Film Is A Visual Treat

About Starfish

Lost in translation, but redeemed by some stunning scenic splendor. This just about sums up Starfish, a failed but fairly fascinating journey into the mysteries of the ocean, where the heroine Tara feels most at home. She can hold on to her breath for as long as she wants. We can’t.
Malta, as shot by Jim Edgar (who shot Prawaal Raman's Sergeant earlier this year), lights up the European holiday retreat as though for a tourist brochure. Every frame glistens with postcard perfection, so much so that you sometimes wish the characters would get out of the way. This is the magic of the visual medium. It can make you swoon and also pose questions about whether the film is a pretext for the visual acuity.
Luckily for Malta, the actors in the film, from Milind Soman to Khushalii Kumar, are easy on the eyes, none more so than Nikhat Khan (Aamir Khan’s sister), who plays the heroine Tara Salgaonkar's Aaji (grandmother). At60-plus, Ms. Khan is a raving beauty. Each time she is on screen, all the actors look like props.
But this tedious, though intriguing, film, trapped between the book and the visual rendition, is not about Nikhat Khan’s character. It is a celebration of Khushalii Kumar’s looks and talent, for whatever they may be worth. This T-series heiress is quite an arresting mix of feminine mystique and visual grace. With a bit of workshop training, she can actually qualify as an actress. I see potential here. here, lost in the ocean.
Playing tara is not easy. She is mind-muddled to the point of seeming ceaselessly spaced out. Arjun Reddy is not a good example to follow for Tara. Heroines were never supposed to be doped out of their senses. Or fuelled by a sense of inadequacy that drives Tara deeper and deeper into self-negation.
When Tara meets a naval officer, Aman (Tushar Khanna), over drinks (and makes a highly appropriate remark on his sex life), there is an instant mutual attraction. Tara then moves on to a roguishly styled musician, Neel (Ehan Bhat), who seems to sing his way into her heart.
Of course, Malta’s scenic splendor helps.
She then meets an overgrown hippie who behaves like Acharya Rajneesh, named Algo (Milind Soman). What exactly is director Abhishek Jaiswal attempting to do with Bina Nayak’s novel Starfish Pickle? Make it into a drugged version of Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika with Tara going on a frenzied man-hopping spree?
Whatever the deal, Starfish doesn’t work as a coherent film. It has its pluses: the good-looking cast complements scenic Malta, but little else holds our attention. The starfish, we are told, has an unending ability to heal itself after every accident. I got the metaphor regarding Tara's self-mending even as she goes on a self-destructive spree.
Her mother’s suicide seems to have given Tara an excuse for unending self-exploration in the most exotic location, wearing the most expensive designer clothes, and eating the best food money can afford.
But who is paying the bills?
End of Article

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