Inkaar (2013) *MQ*

Maya Luthra (Chitrangada Singh), the National creative director of an ad agency files a case of sexual harassment against the company’s CEO Rahul Varma (Arjun Rampal). The film then takes to a counter narrative of both parties where you are shown contradicting versions narrated by both the characters through a series of flashbacks.

The story moves to Rahul, an ad guru who has travelled his way to the top with sheer hardwork and discipline. He comes across Maya, a newbie in the business from a small town Solan out to make a name for herself. He takes her under his wings and they hit it off professionally. He tutors her and raises her rank in the firm. Swooned by her mentor’s interest in her, Maya falls for him and in one weak moment the barrier between a professional relation and a personal one breaks.

The couple soon faces trouble leading for Maya to take off to another continent. She returns from New York after 7 years, this time with a boyfriend in tow, and clinches the post of National Creative Director of the same firm from right under Rahul’s nose. What follows is a diatribe of jealously, anger frustration leading for Maya to slap a case of sexual harassment against Rahul.

INKAAR is a tough film to make and one must compliment Sudhir Mishra for sticking his neck out. Let me add, INKAAR is not just about sex. It’s about greed, ambition and power play. Generally, in a majority of Hindi films, it’s the man who seeks sexual favors, while the woman is projected as someone who’s meek. But the woman here is shrewd and spiteful. When the two sexes collide, what the spectator gets to see is not just the issue that the film raises, but also the games the ambitious play to reach the top spot.

At the outset, it must be mentioned that the film is quite visually appealing and is beautifully shot. Another area where Sudhir Mishra deserves kudos is the way he keeps the entire issue quite ambiguous. Unlike other films like Aitraaz and Disclosure, where the issue of sexual harassment seemed quite open and shut, Inkaar forces you to think everything twice. For example- the scene where Rahul demands to know the difference between casual flirting and sexual harassment. The film is shown from the point of views of both Rahul and Maya and it is difficult to side with any one character…for both seem to justify their stands quite effectively. However, on the flip side, the film should sure have been crisper than what it is and the climax scene will leave you confused about what exactly happened.

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