A still from Dark Brew Image: YouTube
A film that boasts of an actor like Vinay Pathak demands you sit up straight in your chair and pay attention. Akash Goila's Dark Brew does exactly that. It starts off introducing us to Vinay's Anil, an older, married man, unabashedly indulging in amorous activities with other women. Riya, the woman he is in bed with, played by Sheetal Thakur, is a psychiatrist, and what makes the situation even more twisted is the fact that she treats Anil's wife, Geeta, played by Shibani Bedi.
We soon, however, realise that Anil sufffers from a guilty conscience. And his guilt makes his mind work in mysterious ways when he dreams of Geeta trying to poison his coffee, after catching him cheating. But of course, it is only a dream, and while she is still blissfully unaware of her husband's shenanigans in her very own house, she is also gullible enough to believe his bleak attempt at 'working' on their marriage that's clearly going downhill.
Vinay's performance is flawless as usual. While Sheetal has more screen space compared to Shibani, she makes a more powerful impact even with her tiny presence.
Dark Brew has scope, simply because it uses dark humour — my personal favourite plot device to tell its tale. But it ends right there. It fails miserably when it attempts to justify the actions of a lying husband and his many extra-marital affairs by a fleeting statement, "Some dreams and relations remain unexplained."
Riya is not the only woman Anil is sleeping with, he ends up referring to her as Sheetal in one scene that proves there's someone else too, and she will definitely not be the last one. Geeta, on the other hand, is so far invested in her sham of a marriage that she's gone far beyond her emotional expiry date. If this is an extended version of those 'men will be men' whiskey ads that shot to popularity by virtue of its callous appeal, I'd actually be happy. It's simply not brewed long enough and only manages to scrape the surface of a very big issue making it seem rather commonplace.