The making of this film so soon after the Grover murder is as macabre as the killing itself
This movie wears the fig-leaf of a disclaimer which says that any resemblance to any real-life individual or incident is purely coincidental. The gruesome murder of Neeraj Grover, and the triangle of passion that ignited it, was singular. Not a Love Story is a detailed, if not entirely accurate, documentation of that event.
Just as popular cinema contains the aspirations and social consensus of a culture, it also reflects the amorality of the same. Where our liberal perspective speaks of self-censorship and good taste, the logic of mainstream cinema sees an exploitative opportunity.
The making of Not a Love Story, so soon after the Grover murder, so soon after the unimaginably horrific wounds of parents who refused to receive their son’s corpse in charred pieces, is as macabre as the killing itself.
Almost as dreadful is the return to reasonable form of the director. The film has all the hallmarks of an RGV movie; the ever-moving camera leading you up staircases and into dark corridors, scanning the third-rate architecture and badly-constructed building in the suburb of Malad where the murder took place, giving you the ambience of aspiration, greed and mediocrity in the offices and television studios where the struggling actress had just got a foothold, and, finally, arriving at ground zero with litres of blood on the floor, walls and clothes.
The actors, too, are interestingly cast. Deepak Dobriyal, as the obsessed lover who arrives one morning at his girlfriend’s doorstep, unannounced, to find another man in her bedroom, is especially good.
He even manages to make himself look like a victim of circumstantial passion. This reeks of directorial over-judgmentalism, of course, as does the leaving out of any element of calculation and self-preservation in the actions of the girlfriend played by Mahie Gill. She is shown terrified and helpless, weeping away for much of the film.