Story: A glimpse into the life of an industrialist who is trying to save his company and his dysfunctional family from falling apart.
Review: It's the year 2004 and India is shining like the sun as far as the economy is concerned, yet all is not well with Kapil Kapoor, the Delhi-based proprietor of King Chips. The multinationals are buying out the market as he fights, what seems like a losing battle, to save his company. But that's just the professional front. His personal life, too, is in a mess. While his eldest son Viraj (Shiv Pandit) is pursuing his own restaurant business, his younger daughter Pia (Kalki Koechlin) is desperately looking to break out and live on her own. His youngest Vir (Rohan Joshi) is head over heels in a virtual affair with married woman with kids and his wife is just on the cusp of wanting a divorce because of the sheer lack of intimacy or romance. Kapil, meanwhile, maintains a straight face and a graceful smile, while all else around him crumbles.
It's refreshing to see, that in a film only 90 minutes long, just how the director manages to narrate multiple stories in an effective and engaging manner. Each character, however brief, is cast perfectly. Rajat Kapoor's role as the stoic father struggling to do the right thing, Shiv Pandit as the angry son with his own battles to fight, and even Adil Hussain's heart-warming cameo, stand out.
The film is more a collection of anecdotes which reflect a dysfunctional family fighting to stay afloat amidst the chaos that life in urban India is. A crowd funded effort, Mantra is a brave film that delves into the complex world of urban relationships and poses the right questions.
In a bid to cover all bases, the film does fall short in reaching a clear conclusion and the execution falls short in places. Still, the story and performances make sure you are involved till the very end.