Starring: Farooque Sheikh, Deepti Naval, Swara Bhaskar
Directed by Avinash Kumar Singh
Nothing much happens in Listen Amaya. Some coffee gets brewed, some conversations take place over many a cuppa. And a girl named Amaya (Swara) feels insecure about her widowed mother Leela’s (Deepti) relationship with a widower, Jayant (Farooque). How she eventually comes to accept them forms the core of a rather limp, listless and protracted narrative.
There is a parallel track about memories, and their loss, which could have been a compelling subject but is sidelined entirely. The characters and their dilemmas feel distant. Not once are you able to relate or respond to them. Moreover, a film driven by many a tete-a-tete is full of the most banal and dreary lines. Awkward, synthetic chatter abounds. In fact, some of it feels directly translated from English. ‘How was your day?’ becomes ‘Din kaisa tha?’ not a common expression in Hindi small talk. The film is set in Delhi, but the modish Book Your Coffee cafe and its patrons feel more native to Bangalore.
Swara Bhaskar was delightfully natural in Tanu Weds Manu, but here she displays just a few fleeting expressions that impress. She is largely mannered and self-conscious. What lifts the film is the easy togetherness of Farooque Sheikh and Deepti Naval. When he calls her Miss Chamko, one is instantly transported back to Chashme Baddoor. Alas! Listen Amaya, doesn’t do justice to the nostalgia that it merrily plays on.