Cast: Chandan Roy Sanyal, Arfi Lamba, Kumar Mayank, Elena Kazan, Sonia Bindra
Director: Ashish R Shukla
The Indian Express rating: *1/2
Prague runs a little under two hours, and much of it is spent tracking troubled young architect Chandan (Sanyal) as he wanders around the European city’s quaint cobbled streets and watering holes. How he got there and what he is doing there is never entirely clear. Sometimes we see him talking of building memorials of World War II. At others, he is hanging out with a Czech beauty (Kazan) who claims gypsy descent and has a smattering of Bengali. In between, we see the voluble Chandan exchanging words with college pals (Lamba and Mayank).
The lack of clarity, to begin with, can be attributed to the kind of film Prague is trying to be. To have all the t’s crossed and I’s dotted in a psychological portrait of an artist would be defeating the purpose. So you wander along with Chandan, as he goes from his tropical Mumbai addas (college canteen, dark dens where people smoke reefers and sing old Hindi film songs) straight to the cool Czech capital. And wait for him to unpack some of the complicated stuff that’s inside his head, thereby giving us a key to the film.
But all we get is a great deal of unravelling without anything else. Except some atmospherics and a nice song. Sanyal works hard at his part, and in a couple of places, manages to break through. But in the rest, he and his fellow travellers are weighed under this heavy story and all its twists that aspire for meaning. You keep looking for something to hold on to, and you keep coming up empty.