<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Sabal Singh Shekhawat. Starring Rahul Khanna, Arjun Mathur, Monica Dogra, Shivani Ghai, Aadya Bedi
After being told that this was a good film I felt dismally disappointed after watching it. Long, slow and with no entertainment value whatsoever, Fireflies is a film that tries to be arty and fails.
If Indians can’t make an English film like Finding Fanny then they probably shouldn’t try. Our Indian accents don’t always lend themselves to dialogue in English and not many of our actors are comfortable in it. Not even the so-called indie film bunch.
In Fireflies a female narrator introduces you to two brothers. Shiv (Rahul Khanna) and Rana (Arjun Mathur) are poles apart and have lost touch for some tragic reason. When they do meet they don’t get along and then they are apart again. Rana heads off to Bangkok where he tends bar and meets a free spirited girl called who is initially only interested in a one night stand. She’s complicated.
Shiv is stuck in an unhappy marriage and uses work to get out of being with his wife. And lucky for him his ex-flame (Shivani Ghai) has returned from abroad with her superior English-American accent (much easier on the ears than the grinding Indian English accents) and a smile that entices Shiv to cheat on his wife.
The film flip-flops between the two brothers and their ho-hum relationships. Even Shiv’s fling doesn’t seem very exciting. The characters aren’t particularly interesting or layered even with their complications. So you don’t feel anything for them. There’s no direction or message to the tribulations faced by these people who seem to be floating randomly. And even if they do float, isn’t it the director and writer’s job to take the story to some logical conclusion and give us something to hold on to? In Fireflies the conclusion is cathartic for the characters but meaningless to the audience. We never get to know about their bonds and the turns their lives have taken so we can’t empathise.
The English songs are all pretty and nice apparently put together by Monica Dogra, Karsh Kale, Nikhil D’Souza and Indus Creed.
Shivani Ghai and some of the supporting cast stand out but the main characters all look tired and dishevelled and in dire need of some enthusiasm and motivation.