Raghu Romeo is an funny little film I stumbled across on Jaman. Despite having read a bit about its writer/director, Rajat Kapoor, somehow I'd never heard a thing about it - and I hope if any of you have seen it, you'll post in with your thoughts on it. Raghu (Vijay Raaz - yay!) is a waiter in a dance bar, where he quietly defends dancer Sweety (Saddiya Siddiqui) from over-attentive attentions from a bhai (Saurabh Shukla). But his energies are elsewhere - mainly channeled into staring at his tv dream girl, soap opera star Reshma (Maria Goretti). The paths of all four cross, and both wacky antics and commentary on fantasy and celebrity ensue.
While I'll give it a solid A for effort, for me this movie came off as lopsided. Sometimes it was clever and biting - a laughing club is the backdrop for an attempted assassination, an imaginary song-and-dance routine breaks out on a tv set - but other times it just went nowhere or had major plot elements that were inexplicable (and not in the fun way) - namely, once he gets his chance to be up close and personal with Reshma (whom he usually calls "Neeta," her character's name), Raghu switches from sweet and shy to domineering and teasing. I understand that Raghu is doing what he thinks he has to do to save his fantasy life and the central figure thereof, but it's an unattractive change that I don't think he really learns anything from.
When it works, the weaving of fancy with reality is quite funny, and the movie is strongest when it plays Raghu's imaginary life against his reality or the real drama in the lives of his friends against the scripted drama inside the soap opera. Like many movies, it's much stronger in the first part and begins to lose its oomph about two-thirds of the way through (it doesn't have an official intermission, but the plot provides a natural before/after dividing line). I was also very satisfied by all of the components of the sweet ending, some of which were quite a surprise.
The director's own website has a lot of great information about the making of the movie, much of which is as good a story as the movie itself. Kapoor also lists reasons to watch the movie, many of which I disagree with (he says it's about "real people" - how many bar dancers, mobsters, and tv stars do you know?), but it's always fun to read what the director hoped for the impact of the film.
Here's a clip with Raghu in full-on imaginary world.