There is little to hope from a film that was supposed to come out a couple of years back, but instead got dumped on a streaming app. In the West, Netflix and Amazon produce some fine content, like the recent Black Mirror film. In India, we look at these streaming services either to push boundary-breaking web-series that would be otherwise looked down by the Censor Board and movies that don't get a theatrical release. There was a glimmer of hope for Cabaret, that was recently uploaded on Zee5, thanks to the presence of Richa Chadha and Gulshan Devaiah and of course, former cricketer S Sreesanth. However, as expected, Cabaret, directed by Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, is an exercise in shoddy film-making. Cabaret Trailer: Richa Chadha and Gulshan Devaiah’s Much Delayed Film Goes Straight to Zee5, Bigg Boss 12′s S Sreesanth Is the Main Baddie – Watch Video.
Roza (Richa Chadha) is a popular cabaret dancer from Dubai who is in India for a performance. Gaurav (Gulshan Devaiah)n, an alcoholic journalist, is asked to interview her. In the first session itself, the duo develops a mysterious bond with each other. In the process, Gaurav gets to know more about Roza's dark past, involving a vengeful stalker Salim (Gulshan Grover) and a shady benefactor Chetta (S Sreesanth).
Cabaret is a term that used to be associated with the movies of the yore, where a seductive dance performance of a Helen or a Bindu in front of hotel patrons used to be called that. It's an idiom that feels 'outdated' in today's times, an irony that I can't help but associate with this film.
Cabaret, produced by Pooja Bhatt, is that kind of film that tries too many things and couldn't manage to stick them together. It begins as a character-driven dark exploration of two damaged souls, to suddenly become a lustful love story entrenched with passionate kisses. And then when you settle with this jerky transition, Cabaret throws a googly and becomes a mystery thriller with ludicrous, predictable twists.
There is nothing wrong in genre-jumping and the Bhatts have found success in the past doing so with movies like Gangster, Zeher and Jism. Here, you can either blame it on the dopey execution, tawdry editing and inferior writing for the kind of mess that Cabaret has turned out to be.
What else can you blame for that sudden inclusion of a song to establish a romantic bond between the leads, even though they have only met for a couple of minutes? Or a Maoist background for the female lead that hardly matters in the scheme of things? Or random characters, like Gaurav's friend (Sharad Kapoor) or Roza's Dubai mates, who appear and disappear at will? The worst of all is how they have handled the twist. Not wanting to offer spoilers here, but it is very on-the-face, and yet very absurd. You really wonder why that one particular character goes to these extreme lengths to invoke fear in Roza, when he has the power to bend things to his wishes.
Watch the trailer of Cabaret here -
What works for the movie is the dance acts, though it feels more like well-choreographed stage performances rather than a cabaret.
Richa Chadha and Gulshan Devaiah, both supremely talented actors, go through the motions in their badly written roles. It is her dedication to her performance that Richa doesn't end up making a mockery of herself. Gulshan is strictly okay, quoting lines that make him sound like a doped-out Farhan Akhtar. S Sreesanth (whose Bigg Boss popularity could be the reason why Cabaret got a digital release) makes his presence felt in an authoritative role, though his dubbed voice feels odd. Gulshan Grover, Manoj Pahwa, Sharad Kapoor add to the numbers. Sreesanth Opens Up On Getting Back In The Indian Cricket Team; Says He Is Hopeful of Making It!
Cabaret is a badly edited mess that suffers from lame execution and poor writing. The movie may evince interest among Bigg Boss 12 watchers thanks to Sreesanth's presence, otherwise, the film is something even the actors involved here would want to forget.