Suddenly, schizophrenia and memory loss seem to be the new flavours of the season. First GHAJINI [memory loss], then KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK [schizophrenia], then PRINCE [memory loss], now APARTMENT talks of a schizophrenic who spells havoc in another woman’s life. Jag Mundhra comes up with a fairly taut thriller, which is absorbing in parts. Inspired by the Hollywood film SINGLE WHITE FEMALE [Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh], the film has been adapted decently well to suit Indian sensibilities, but there’s a hiccup. Neetu Chandra uses every predictable trick in the book to make Tanushree’s life miserable. From poisoning Anupam Kher’s cat to eyeing Tanushree’s man, the stunts that she pulls off don’t send a chill down your spine, which is very, very vital for a film that banks on terrifying moments to keep its audience hooked. Yet, when compared to the content in the marketplace today, APARTMENT is at least watchable in parts. Tanushree Dutta is an airhostess living in with her boyfriend Rohit Roy. They share a nice apartment and are befriended by their elderly neighbour Anupam Kher, a struggling poet and lyricist. Tanushree is possessive and has issues with trust. When she mistakenly suspects her boyfriend to be unfaithful, she throws him out of the house, but soon realizes she can’t afford the payment on the apartment on her own. On the advice of a fellow airhostess, she advertises for a tenant to share her apartment. Enter Neetu Chandra, a modest small-town girl asking for accommodation. Very impressed by her simplicity and respectfulness, Tanushree believes she has found a perfect tenant. The two girls soon become close — their camaraderie leads them to even become companions. Until things begin to go disastrously wrong. Tanushree’s seemingly normal life is thrown off gear. Is Neetu really as simple as she seems? The best thing about APARTMENT is that it doesn’t deviate from the main plot. It stays true to the story and the four principal characters in the film. But the writing isn’t convincing in its post-interval portions. Neetu’s past in Igatpuri is tame and lacks the dramatic high. Also, the plot tends to get predictable after a point and you actually know what’s in store next. Besides, the chill factor is missing. Especially when Neetu becomes a killing machine. It just doesn’t evoke any fear. Bappa Lahiri’s music is functional. Neetu is getting confident with every film. She uses her eyes to express the varied emotions. Tanushree carries her part effortlessly. Rohit doesn’t get much scope. Anupam Kher is likable.
On the whole, APARTMENT is absorbing in parts. Wish the drama in the second half was more punch-packed. It would’ve only enhanced the impact!