122 Min | Drama – Romance – Thriller | July 2013
IMDB Rating: 3.2
Director: Amit Saxena
Starring: Ranbir Chakma, Nikhil Desai, Poonam Pandey
Nasha Review: Nasha, directed by Amit Saxena (of Jism fame), stars Shivam Patil and Poonam Pandey, both of whom make their Bollywood debuts with this bold venture. The film was marketed as an erotic thriller, probably because of the reputations shared by both the director and Poonam Pandey. The irony is, this film actually had minimal erotic elements, and did not even try to be a thriller. It’s when you go in with an open mind, you realize that Nasha is the coming of age story of an 18 year old boy, Sahil (Shivam Patil), who along with his teen friends, is a high school student from Panchgani (a small city in India). Before his final examinations, Sahil becomes deeply infatuated with the new drama teacher in his school, Anita (Poonam Pandey). This infatuation soon turns into an obsession, uprooting his life and catapulting him through a lot of emotional turmoil, as he stops relating to his family, friends, and even himself. But, as is the case with unfulfilled obsessions, Sahil eventually learns his first lesson in maturity, he comes of age.
What really makes Nasha come alive is the character journey of the innocent and emotionally vulnerable boy. Shivam Patil deserves the major critical acclaim he has received, for his debut performance as ‘Sahil’. Sahil’s girlfriend, Tia, is played by Sheetal Singh who makes an admirable attempt to make her role believable. The rest of Sahil’s friends are confident and convincing, and their chemistry with each other really keeps the film breathing throughout. Wherever the simple plot of Nasha falls short, Sahil and gang come to it’s rescue with solid, entertaining performances. Sahil brings forth innocence and internal conflict, whereas his friends bring in light-hearted humour, quirkiness and good entertainment. Cinematography is quite outstanding in certain sequences, and the credit to making Panchgani come alive goes to the DOP James Fowlds. The music is pleasant, with the title track ‘Tera Nasha’ being the best one of the lot.
Poonam Pandey gives a flat performance as the supposedly sensuous and charismatic ‘Anita’. A better actor could have really made Nasha complete. The story line, as you can see, is not really one deserving of a standing ovation, either. It belongs to well explored territory in world cinema. The background score is a little too heavy in the first half, but makes a noticeable improvement in the second. Amit Saxena makes an earnest attempt at showing the ups and downs of an infatuated teenager. But all the freshness and entertainment brought forth by the young cast, is compensated by a struggling Poonam Pandey. It’s worth a watch for the pool of teen talent, but Nasha could have been a lot more with a stronger story and a competent female lead actor. It’s definitely a one time watch, simply because it’s better than the usual crap Bollywood churns out on a regular basis.