STORY: This ambitious venture has 11 intertwined stories running in the same narrative about a filmmaker K and his many muses.
MOVIE REVIEW: This film can be best described as a bizarre, underwhelming hotch-potch. Though some of these 11 sub-stories do show that rare streak of brilliance, most of them are sheer duds. The common thing binding them all is that they are unmistakably pretentious.
Of the many, it is Pratim D Gupta’s story about a man and a woman living under the same roof at different times and falling in love in a quaint way, which is striking. The old-world charm lies in its wooden almairah, the acoustic guitar and its poetry. None of the other plots quite condense the idea of love so deeply. Though all stories are about unrequited love, this one feels the most complete one of the lot.
The most disappointing one came from Q,who tries his hand at an abstract idea, but his attempt doesn’t translate to good. His plot is sinister, paints a macabre milieu, has his risque quality and yet, the story doesn’t come together.
A film is an amorphous mass and on that count this one doesn’t deliver. Its scattered screenplay makes the subplots feel disjointed. The protagonist K is caricaturish – a restless artist stuck in a creative limbo, narrating his escapades (romantic liaisons and sexcapades).
Since a lot of the film plays out in flashback, the stories often jarringly? overlap. Sometime in middle of all the absurdity playing on screen, the film tells you that every filmmaker has one story that he retells differently each time, which justifies the repetitiveness of the plots.
It is tolerable in parts, sometimes inventive, often mediocre but never half-as-good as it claims to be. As the protagonist shifts between startling you and disgusting you, the leading ladies take the cake. Radhika Apte, Swara Bhaskar and Huma Qureshi are unforgettable.
Avoid, X : Past is Present. It will fail to suit your filmi palettes and make you stay away from biryani for life with a very grotesque reference. You can do without such negativity.
The film is directed by a team of eleven filmmakers including Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Nalan Kumarasamy, Hemant Gaba, Pratim D. Gupta, Q, Raja Sen, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath and Suparn Verma.