- BOTTOM LINE
A Confusing, Never-Ending Bore
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Drama|
What is the Story about?
Inspired by a real-life event, CRD is a film that opens viewers into the life of two warring dramatists. Chetan, an enthusiastic amateur theatre person from Indore, packs his bag to Pune and joins a theatre repertoire lead by Makrand, notorious for his outlandish behaviour during rehearsals. Chetan, however, develops a soft corner for his actor-counterpart Persis. On the other end, the equation between Chetan and Makrand only worsens with time. Their confrontation gets ugly after which Chetan forms his own theatre group. All Chetan has is a troupe of misfits and despite being underdogs, he tries to make the most of his resources to write a good play and give a shot at winning a prestigious theatre competition in the city.
Saurabh Saraswat, who plays the lead character Chetan, is convincing as long he plays an innocent Indore lad climbing his way up in the Pune theatre-scene. The moment Chetan’s rebellious nature makes way for his eccentric behaviour, the actor doesn’t feel home at all. Mrinmayee Godbole, who essays the part of Chetan’s ladylove Persis, looks as confused as the viewer, uncomfortable and out of place both with her expressions and mannerisms.
Kranti Kanadé has written, produced and directed CRD. In an attempt to give a cinematic interpretation to a real-life incident (that happened in Pune) and offer an insight into the working of rival theatre groups, he has made a film that feels so pointless and amateurish. Although the backdrop of the theatre group and the painstaking efforts that go into scripting, rehearsing and performing a play is depicted authentically, the director has no clarity about the story he wants to tell.
Only vague ideas are sprinkled through the film. There’s a random social commentary about Marxism, nationalism, and prostitution. Prolonged sequences that add no value to the story, overdone visual metaphors and eccentric characters don’t at all help the filmmaker’s cause. It seems as if the director had just completed his doctorate in modern drama and wanted an outlet to vent out his frustration on the academic system, political beliefs, and society.
The drastic transformation of the lead protagonist Chetan from the first hour to the final stretch isn’t believable and the characterisation of the creepy Makrand is hard to digest. More subtlety would have helped their characters strike a chord with the viewer. Moreover, had the director solely focused on the rivalry between two theatre groups and their quest to win the competition at any cost, the film would have made some sense. The unnecessary romance, the redundant references to a former theatre person in the college (named Vikram Deshpande), a confusing climax that suddenly brings up the issue of sexual abuse, makes it one complicated mess.
Vinay Sharma as Mayank, gets a very uncomfortable/disturbing character, to say the least. He plays the role of a theatre person who doesn’t mind asking a female actor if she’s got periods when she’s not able to deliver a good performance in a rehearsal. The actor, nevertheless, tries hard to get into the skin of the character and walks away with a decent performance. Abhay Mahajan as the protagonist in Chetan’s play makes a mark for a brief duration, though actor Geetika Tyagi deserved better.
Music and other departments?
If there’s something that the film does well, it’s with the music department. Whenever a sequence doesn’t make sense, it’s the background score that gives the film some authority. The cinematography too has some shades of brilliance and the effort to do something out of the box within the limited budget, truly shows in the work of Daniel Katz, whose short film had won an Academy Award in the past. The dialogues are all over the place, so is the editing. Crucial links of the film feel missing from time to time and that’s not good news for a filmmaker.
Detailing of the theatre scene
Terrible screenplay and poor editing
Eccentric, disturbing characters
Too many sub-plots that make no sense
Will you recommend it?
Not at all
CRD Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur