"I know he is gifted. I know he is brilliant. I know he is better than me. And that's the reason why I cannot forgive him!"
How many times has one seen an honest confession like this being made? Especially when the person saying so is an antagonist! But in SLBB this happens. And that's the beauty of the script which makes it all so believable and true.
Welcome to the kind of cinema that doesn't get into a good v/s bad saga with everything white and black. Here the characters are true to what an average human being could be.
So Upen Patel, a wannabe star with the gift of 'saraswati' with him, isn't all 'seedha-saadha' and oh-so-humble even as he sees the world turn against him in his quest for name and fame. So much so that he even disrespects his very own father and 'guru' [Anupam Kher] in moments of frustration and overconfidence!
On the other hand there is Bobby Deol, who could justify his 'ahankaar' due to 5 superhit albums behind him, but deep inside down he pretty much realizes that he is nothing but mediocre. And this is where the insecurity creeps in and he goes an extra distance to ensure that a new kid on the block is destroyed even before he becomes a competitor.
Third character in the story which is forced to breach the line of gray and turn really nasty is that of Celina Jaitly, a PR person, who cannot bear the sight of her client [Upen]. Pulling down the very ladder that she had set for him, she cannot face rejection after she helped him meet the big daddies of the music industry.
"He used me", she cries and then allows Bobby to use her further in their common quest of bursting Upen's bubble. They go all out in sabotaging his upcoming career. They help him come up with his debut CD and then ensure that the album is 'killed' even before people get a chance to hear it.
Critic reviews are fixed, posters from the music stores disappear, Upen's name vanishes from Page 3 columns, music industry bigwigs are brainwashed and last but not the least an attempt is made to crush Upen's morale - all of this to make sure that a rising star never happened.
They make him so sick with all the drinks and late night parties that he is on the verge of self destruction. Naive, vulnerable and new to the going-ons of the music world, he believes in them as his friends, little knowing that he was being finished minute by minute.
Decisive phase of their lives comes when Bobby decides to use Upen's original tunes and bring them to the market on his own name. Unfamiliar to the tactics of his senior and made to believe that he was composing the album for himself, Upen falls into Bobby's trap. All this and more even when his much mature girlfriend [Kangana Ranaut], a rising stralet herself, warns him that the world isn't what it seemed.
What happens next?
Ignore historic references or inspiration from any Hollywood flick, the fact remains that SLBB does tackle a very fresh subject with extremely complex characterizations, especially that of Bobby Deol. He is gawky when it comes to comedy and light hearted scenes but gets on his own when it comes to displaying his anger, frustration and helplessness.
His monologues with his mentor [Govind Namdeo] have that vulnerability that make him look so real and his situation understandable. No, you may not sympathize with his actions but you certainly follow the way his character behaves. Handling a complex role with easy, he gets out the split personality part so very well that it sounds more humane than psychotic.
Upen Patel is truly a revelation. Once you watch the film, you would forget that he ever made an average debut with 36 CHINA TOWN. His looks, body language and mannerisms are just right for the