Njan Steve Lopez

Remember Ravi Krishna in 7G Rainbow Colony? If one were to go by that movie alone, could Ravi Krishna be called a good actor? I do like him in that movie, though he’s like an itch that won’t go away, with his manner of speech and expressions. Of course, it all quickly became intolerable once I found out he did the same thing in every movie (Sukran and Kedi for instance; and yes I watched both).

Steve Lopez (Farhaan Faasil) is an updated version of this type of protagonist. He is, for all purposes, a zombie with a smartphone. His life (or existence, for he seems to be so devoid of life) revolves around getting drunk with his friends and trying to get Anjali (Ahaana Krishna) to like him. He is at his animated best when on Whatsapp, and usually sleepwalks through his day. I can’t tell you how much it scared me to watch him, because he reminded me so much of my own brother, and all the times I’ve yelled at him to “Be more present” or “Be aware of what’s happening around you.” 

One day, Steve witnesses a group of men trying to murder a man in broad daylight, on a busy road. Nobody pauses. Traffic and people move on as before. Strangely, Steve is unable to ignore the dying man. He takes this man to a hospital, is willing to help the police find whoever did this, is attempting to be useful. Inexplicably, everyone he turns to advises him to mind his own business. He is curious, he owns a motorcycle, and he clearly has too much time. He sets about trying to uncover the mystery he has stumbled upon, he gets more and more involved in what appears to be a gang war.

Maybe what this movie tries to tell us is, nobody is what they seem. Not the henchmen. Not his father, who is a police officer. Especially not his father. I liked the scene where after an attack similar to what happened in the first half, Steve happens to check the contents of a man’s phone. This man is someone who would be labelled a criminal, and in his contacts, Steve finds his father’s phone number listed. Not a revelation, just a quiet moment. And certainly, Steve isn’t what he seems. Another scene I liked: When Anjali tells him the man he saved is a gunda, Steve replies, “But he is human too.” Anjali is surprised, so are we. We don’t expect Steve to be the kind of guy who would look up from his phone to help someone dying on the road, we don’t think he’d feel strongly about anything. 

Njan Steve Lopez got under my skin and bothered me. It is moody. It takes its own time getting where it wants to, with repetitive shots and events (you may be prompted call it slow). Well, Steve is ordinary. But turns out life has extraordinary plans for this boy (whom we are tempted to call dumb). He gets caught up in something far bigger than himself,  with questions leading to more questions, and where nobody is safe.

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