Nights are sexier than days. The dark lets the devil out of our hearts. Strange things happen and not always for the best. A long night of unending drama has been the subject of several Bollywood flicks – the absorbing Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi and the foul-mouthed Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, to name just two. Like them, Valentine’s Night is also a-night-out-on-the-streets movie. But the similarity pretty much ends there – and the reason isn’t just because the action takes place in Delhi, unlike the other two.
Written and co-directed by former Tehelka journalist Kumar Baadal, the movie is an exploration of five young, wannabe cools – all nursing a farm-fresh broken heart – in times of social networking. They all slap their partners with alacrity and abandon as a sort of return gift before heading for splitsville. Unwilling to wallow in sorrow, they connect online and decide to spend the night partying in a hired limousine. The boys booze and sing “classics” such as Life mein itna virus hai, daaru saala anti-virus hai.
But soon the movie becomes like its protagonists who look all dressed up and have nowhere really to go. There’s plenty of chatter. And the only guys who find the conversation funny are the characters themselves who often burst into hysterical laughter. Midway, the movie changes tracks. New characters crop up along with fresh sub-plots. The gang of five is sucked into Jat politics, a prostitution racket and drugs. Finally, the movie devolves into a shoddy murder mystery.
But there’s little that grabs attention. The dialogues are occasionally sharp. And at least two characters – the Bihari studying fashion design who keeps ripping off money from his father and gets guilt pangs and the girl from North-East who tries a ‘sting’ operation on a lascivious landlord – had interesting possibilities that go largely unfulfilled. As for Payal Rohatgi, if long legs could emote, this is an award-winning performance.
Released with an “adult’s only” certificate, Valentine’s Night ends up like one of those car drivers in the movie who doesn’t know where to go and keeps circling the streets of Delhi.
Two boys and three girls break up with their respective partners. The young bunch rent a party car to drive away the blues. But the night has more adventures and surprises than they can handle.