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Roy Movie Review (With Trivia and Goofs)


'ROY'AL STYLE, LACKS SOUL!

Rating: 2.5/5

STORY: A director's movie is inspired by a thief's character; but when reality and fiction collide - his story takes an unexpected turn.
REVIEW: Get ready to go on a 'trip'. This one's rolled up in celluloid - with all the kaleidoscopic colours and hues associated with it. Roy takes you on an orgasm of the imagination, and gives you a treat of visual delight - with all things good-looking. Smooth vintage wheels, stunning studs (horses), Fedora hats and magnificent Malaysia. Of course, the gorgeous lead trio too - striking poses right out of fashion glossies.
Kabir Grewal (Arjun) is a filmmaker known as much for his flamboyant lifestyle (read: wine and women) as his action films ('Guns' series). He's also the darlin' of the tabloids because he simply can't keep his 'gun-on-steroids' under control. His heist stories are born out of a thief's character from his childhood memories. Kabir starts filming in Malaysia with a writer's block and without a script, but he quickly finds a muse in Ayesha (Jacqueline part 1) - an arty filmmaker (who shows no sign of making a film).

He takes his story forward; 'Roy'(Ranbir) the robber, reaches Malaysia to plan his next big robbery. The fictitious tale meets reality - they collide and crumble - leaving us confused. Ayesha's lookalike, Tia, walks in to the chaos (Jacqueline part 2). There's a forced sense of mystery, and the transition between the real and the imagination is what leaves you baffled.

Debutant director Vikramjit's premise is uncommon; the execution is stylish - with beautifully captured actors and ambience, but it turns into an emotional drama (often too complex) rather than a taut romantic thriller. It's glazed with visual appeal and style (champagne, cigar, et al), and evokes curiosity too, but the soul of the plot fades into thick clouds of smoke. There are characters that add no real dimension to the story. Much is said in silence minus melodrama, backed by a good musical score - a saving grace. The editing is weak in parts and the pace is too languid. There's a dialogue in the film which goes, "If the story isn't going anywhere, it's better to end it." Wish this dialogue was taken seriously.

Arjun looks dapper in every frame and shows brooding intensity even if it's tucked under his stylish hat. Ranbir, with few dialogues and a poorly sketched role, looks dreamy-eyed throughout. Jacqueline, in both parts looks the same - but great.

Roy' has its moments, but the story is like a blotch of painting on abstract art.
Spoiler alert! Please do not read the following plot summary if you have not seen the film.

PLOT SUMMARY

'Roy' opens with director Kabir Grewal (Arjun Rampal) giving interviews for his upcoming film 'Guns 3' , which is a third instalment of the franchise. But interestingly, he has no script at hand and is suffering from a writer's block. He even gets a financer for his movie, with the cast, crew and budgets all set - albeit no plot. Whatever happened to bound scripts in Bollywood?
So, Kabir lands in Malaysia to shoot the film, where he plans to write and shoot simultaneously. He wears his director's Fedora hat everyday and sits with his antique typewriter to churn creative writing (guess, that explains the slow pace of the movie). Finally, he meets his muse Ayesha Amir (Jacqueline), an arty filmmaker (wearing glasses, of course, though she forgets to wear it midway through the film) who is also in Malaysia to shoot. Strangely, we never see her cast or crew, and she shows no sign of filmmaking other than one passing scene where she says, 'Cut'! For an arty/documentary filmmaker she surely has lavish budgets too. Kabir's films (titled 'Guns') are inspired by a childhood memory of a thief and his stories revolves around a mysterious masked robber. He also has a controversial love life - what with 22 affairs and counting. Finally, he finds his inspiration in Ayesha; they bump into each other at every restaurant, beach, street and airport.

Kabir is so inspired by Ayesha that he finds a lookalike Tia (Jacqueline again) for his film. Difference between the two: Ayesha wears pale lip colours, Tia is red-lipped. Ayesha has long hair, Tia has a short crop. Ayesha wears glasses when she feels 'arty', and drops them when she's in mood for romance. Tia has a disappearing mole. And of course, they are both well-styled, good-looking and act the same. Roy meets Tia (who attends big auctions, owns a big mansion, loves to paint and breed horses), they romance in one song and fall in love. Roy's ultimate motive is to steal a famous painting from her mansion, which he eventually does. Tia is heartbroken and Roy disappears for a while.

Meanwhile, Kabir and Ayesha's love story warms up, well, heats up. They kiss and make love too. Of course, in between a lot of profound conversation, philosophy and some ballet moves too. All of that seduced the camera lens obviously, but left us sleepy-eyed.

Soon, Ayesha stumbles upon Kabir's script for 'Guns 3', and she is shocked to find out that she is being used as a mere inspiration in his fictional story. So she packs up and leaves for London. Kabir makes repeated attempts to get in touch with Ayesha, but it's all in vain. Kabir hits a creative block again; he shelves the film and heads back to Mumbai.

One fine day he gets a call from his father (Anupam Kher) who is supposedly ailing, though he looks hale and hearty. He passes on some pearls of wisdom to his son, and many scenes he passes away. Other than this, not much is known or spoken about his father.Meanwhile Kabir who is depressed and is suffering from a writer's block gets an invitation from the Eastern Oriental Film Festival, where Ayesha's film 'Malacca Diaries' wins an award for the Best Film In Foreign Language (and we were assuming that it was a documentary). She refuses to make conversation with him and they part ways again. Well, we wish they had spoken right here - the film would have ended!

After losing his dad, something strikes him (hope it struck us too) and he realizes that there's huge money riding on his film. He starts filming 'Guns 3' again. Eventually the film gets a huge opening and he's the toast of the industry. Cut to Heathrow airport where Kabir expresses his love to Ayesha, and she replies "Maine tumhari film dekhi". Followed by a few dialogues, they hug and make up. Yes, believe it or not. That simple.

Roy who had stolen the paintings from Tia, steals it once again to return it to her. He also leaves a note for her asking her, "Kya mere saath chalogi." They obviously meet, kiss and drive off into the sunset. In the film is Roy is a figment of Kabir's imagination? And are all the characters associated with Roy also a part of his imagination? On two occasions when Roy and Kabir are shown together, they never meet eye-to-eye. They share a brief conversation and Roy suddenly leaves. Is Roy a part of Kabir's make-belief world - therein lies the mystery.
TRIVIA
1Director Vikramjit Singh wore the same white kurta throughout the shoot believing it was lucky for him.
2Arjun Rampal has sported glasses and hats from his personal collection to give a personal touch to his character.
3Jacqueline designed her own clothes for the song 'Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan.'
41960's model of a luxury car which Ranbir Kapoor drives in a particular sequence caught fire inside a tunnel during the shoot.
5Arjun Rampal shot a scene on a busy street of China which is dominated by drug mafia and peddlers in the middle of the night.
6Vikramjit Singh was supposed to direct a film titled ‘Mera Jahaan’ with Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor in leading roles, which failed to materialize.
7Ranbir Kapoor is playing thief second time in his career, first being 'Besharam.'
8First time director Vikramjit Singh is Ranbir’s very good friend from their college days.
GOOFS
1A local radio station in Malaysia is dedicated to Bollywood, where Kabir Grewal is making headlines. Strange isn’t it?
2When Kabir Grewal shelves the film and returns to Mumbai he has a perfectly manicured beard – whatever happened to continuity.
3A Hindi news channel is playing tickers and slugs in English.
4Jacqueline who plays Ayesha in the film has her glasses appearing and disappearing throughout the film, while Tia’s (played by Jacqueline again) mole appears and disappears without a trace.
5Ayesha’s friend appears out of nowhere in the film and her name is not disclosed till the end.
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