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Lost in confusion

In Gurmmeet Singh’s What the Fish, Sudha Mishra (Dimple Kapadia) is a cantankerous woman who returns to her seemingly immaculate Delhi home after a one-month vacation to find that her pet fish no longer responds to her liked she used to. The furnishings are what they were before she got divorced, and a witch-like woman comes running out of her bedroom. But Sudha is so crabby that you really don’t really give a fish—not even when the absurd screenplay travels back and forth to a month ago, then counting down to the present, filling in the blanks on what transpired when Sudha left her house in the incapable hands of her niece’s fiancé Sumit (Sumit Suri).

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In those 30 days, all and sundry occupy her home, from an eloping couple to a cross-dressing Haryanvi boxer and a family from Mizoram. Characters come and disappear, leaving behind chaos and damage in the house, but not impressing the audience with their quirks or predicaments.

This is an asinine script. Each character is either a caricature or reprehensible, and many of the situations make you gasp, such as a man tricking a woman into letting him into the house so he can have his wicked way with her, or various toilet bowl visuals.

Given the wishy-washy story and the inept direction by Gurmeet Singh, the usually dependable actors, Kapadia and Manu Rishi, are unable to make anything out of it.

The mystery isn’t who that unkempt-looking woman who runs out of the bedroom is or what really happened to Mishti, Sudha’s pet fish. The question is, who believed this film was worth writing and making.

What the Fish released in theatres on Friday.

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