DOESN'T MAKE THE GRADE
The neon lit signboards of Paharganj were first used in Anurag Kashyap’s to echo the protagonist's hollowness in Dev D and as markers to his progressive despair. Taking us through the squalid bars and dingy rooms occupied by painted faces it worked because it was original, and Kashyap knew how to measure it out without tipping over. Cinematographer-director Ajay Bahl trips on the latter count and after a point, lights flashing in the background for every other scene in the second half start burning holes in your head. Perhaps that was the desired effect––putting you in line with an innocent boy’s frantic slide into the murky world of prostitution and the tragedy it unleashes––but it doesn't work.