I'm kind of a nice guy, I think. Mama always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," and I've tried to live by this. Perhaps I've already said too much. I've rarely seen a movie I didn't like in some small way. DR. RAVI & MR. HYDE is the exception.
It's about Dr. Ravi Godse, who plays himself, a guy facing his mid-life crisis. He's successful in his career, but he wants to make his mark in film. Naturally he goes to film school and works toward this goal. In the process, he has endless conversations with friends about the subject again and again. His friends and family try to distract him from this train of thought, but it thunders on, oblivious to their anxiety and outright avoidance of him. It's amusing to a point, but it gets tired in a hurry. Ravi tries to raise money, goes to film school, has coffee with friends, sees a small selection of chronic hypochondriacs and other patients, and goes to Africa briefly, though I'm not sure why.
The film is honest about its quality and origins. Hell, it documents them. During film school, his instructor tells Ravi that a film should have conflict. At just this point, conflict enters the film in the form of a classmate who wants Ravi to act as a love interest to make her boyfriend jealous. That thread meanders along to its predicted resolution, but it just seems tacked on, as does the brightly looming threat of divorce when his wife finds out Ravi may be having an affair. Mrs. Ravi (Olga Segall), in the midst of her anguish about her nearly shattered marriage, has a pretty and pleasant demeanor. We never see the threat of divorce as real, so the climax fails.
The one thing I did find promising is the music used in the film. It did add atmosphere to the scenes. It would have been easy for a first time, low-budget filmmaker to skip the music, turning this film into a tinny, hollow farce. I was pleased this was not the case, but it could not save the film. Perhaps next time he could get more diverse music and spend a bit more on it.
DR. RAVI & MR. HYDE is not a great movie, but Ravi has a magnetic personality that makes the experience of viewing this film more tolerable. While I can't recommend this film to any but friends of Ravi (who likely appeared in it anyway), I must say I'm envious. I'm the same age as Dr. Ravi, and I don't even have an idea for a film. He's got two more in the works.
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