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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



Review of the film, Rock Paper Dice Enter

Working her way up from the sound and editing departments in several outings over 12 years, Indo-Canadian director Shreela Chakrabartty debuts with Rock Paper Dice Enter. It is written by another Indo-Canadian, Kash Gauni, who has jointly produced the film with Shreela. There’s one more Indian connection, a character played by Ojas Joshi, but that is where the Indianness ends.

Canadian in feel, inspired by Hollywood in treatment, and international in the issues it addresses, the film has some deft insider punches, courtesy the manuscript by Gauni, a linguist who worked with the diamond industry in Hongkong before settling in Canada. Apparently, that’s where the Rock (diamond) in the title comes from. Paper and Dice are objects used in the cat and mouse game the protagonist (Gauni himself) plays with Canadian provincial government officials. And Enter can only mean the most used key on a computer keyboard that plays innumerable roles.

Reasonably slick in visual pace and full of staccato dialogue, the film, unfortunately, does not have enough punches to maintain consistent pace. Consequently, at 82 minutes, it appears incomplete. There are several developments along the way that we are about to see a huge political conspiracy or terrorist plot unfold, but that remains an expectation unfulfilled. Obviously, the makers are sold on the idea of a sequel (two, to quote Shreela), but the first venture should have a logical end and enough content to make you crave for more. A couple of scenes, like the ransom and rescue act and the secret of the dice, do prove that the Gauni-Shreela combine is capable of much more than it has delivered. Perhaps funding hampered their efforts. The producers asked for sponsors and crowd source funders (through the internet) and have even thanked them in the credits, but one wonders whether they got as much as they wanted.

Kash Gauni is passable as the computer hacker who is definitely more than just that. Alyson Dicey as his partner in crime has an ill-defined and too small a role to make an impression. Richard Lee either goes through the motions or overdoes his bit. Ojas Joshi fills the bill. Some of the actors playing the smaller roles of the Canadian government and police officers are more impressive. Overall, RPDE raises hopes that remain hopes. How one wishes the team had done more detailed Paperwork before they cast the Dice and pressed Enter. That would have increased their ability to Rock audiences.

Rating: *1/2



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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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