When an actor of the calibre of Naseeruddin Shah announces his directorial debut featuring such talents as Konkona Sen Sharma, Irfan Khan and Paresh Rawal, you have a fair idea it's going to be a film of substance. Comprising four disparate stories, which paint a human portrait of a tragic reality from an Indian perspective, Yun Hota To Kya Hota, is deftly crafted, proffering sensitive performances which make for a poignant film.
Newlywed Tillottima (Konkona Sen Sharma) faces a long and arduous separation from her husband Hemant (Jimmy Shergill) while she awaits a US visa; Rajubhai (Paresh Rawal) is a charismatic wheeler-dealer who runs an immigration racket under the guise of a cultural performance troupe; stockbroker Salim (Irfan Khan) is forced to flee to America to avoid being falsely implicated in a murder, while student Rahul Bhide (Ankur Khanna) confronts the ethical dilemma of whether or not to leave his homeland for a life of opportunity in America. When the strangers cross paths, fortune intercedes and a lost boarding pass becomes the difference between life and death.
Technically speaking, the film works, the separate strands marrying up to achieve the film's disturbing denouement. Shah succeeds in eliciting natural performances from all his cast, and the film comes into its own with its strong characterization, enabling Paresh Rawal, Ankur Khanna, Ratna Pathak, and the incomparable Konkona Sen Sharma to deliver evocative performances. Only Irfan Khan's love angle remains unconvincing.
Yun Hota To Kya Hota is certainly a watchable film, and for the most part, engaging. It is perhaps a combination of the subtlety in the storytelling, which refrains from sensationalism, and the pathos of the very subject matter that renders this film an emotional experience.
In Hindi, with English subtitles.