Review: "Starfish" (2023) Dives into Turmoil and Mystery, but Falters in Narrative Depth
Exploring the Depths of Visual Splendor and Emotional Turmoil, the Film Leaves Audiences Wanting More
The film "Starfish," featuring Khushalii Kumar, Tusharr Khanna,Milind Sonam and Ehan Bhat, adapts Bina Nayak's novel, "Starfish Pickle." Helmed by director Akhilesh Jaiswal and boasting a talented cast, the movie promises an engaging narrative centered around a diver's quest for answers and self-discovery.
Summary: Set against the picturesque backdrop of Malta, the story follows Tara Salgaonkar (Khushalii Kumar), a diver leading a mission to recover the remains of a naval crew after a tragic blast. Tara's troubled past, marked by panic attacks and a tumultuous lifestyle, is rooted in a dark secret that led her mother, Sukanya (Vidya Malavade), to take her own life. The film takes viewers through Tara's journey as she endeavors to unravel her mother's mysterious final words, leading to relationships with naval captain Aman Sharma (Tusharr Khanna) and musician Neel (Ehan Bhat).
Likes and Dislikes: A standout feature of the film is its visual allure. Cinematographer Jim Edgar, collaborating with director Akhilesh Jaiswal, skillfully captures the underwater scenes and marine life, creating a visually pleasing experience. However, the screenplay by Akhilesh and Aditya Bhatnagar falls short, appearing disjointed and lacking coherence. The film focuses excessively on Tara's emotional turmoil, neglecting the depth required for the crucial love stories.
Acting Performances: Khushalii Kumar delivers an impressive performance as a diver and a troubled soul, particularly shining in the second half as her emotional turmoil intensifies. While Tusharr Khanna and Ehan Bhat give commendable performances, Milind Soman stands out in his brief but pivotal role as the spiritual and music guru, Arlo. The film's music, featuring catchy tunes like "Madhaniya Redux" and the club number "Kudiye Ni Teri," adds a positive element to the overall experience.
Verdict: "Starfish" boasts a compelling premise with the potential for a strong character arc. Despite the visual appeal and Khushalii Kumar's strong lead performance, the film falls short due to a disjointed screenplay that lacks depth in the love stories. Director Akhilesh Jaiswal handles the direction decently, but the narrative feels like a sequence of events centered around the protagonist. A more coherent screenplay could have elevated the film to its true potential. Nonetheless, "Starfish" remains visually captivating, earning a modest rating of 3.5/5 stars.
IMDB Rating: 9.3/10
In conclusion, "Starfish" may captivate audiences with its underwater visuals but falls short of delivering a fully immersive and emotionally resonant cinematic experience.
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