Pyaar is the Hindi word for love, so the translated title of Mukesh Asopa’s Depth of Pyaar is Depth of Love. There are many types and tests of love in the story: familial connections, romantic love, love of justice, to name just a few.
The film stars writer/director Mukesh Asopa playing two brothers – Yash and Ansh. Yash is a driven young lawyer on fire for his pursuit of justice, while Ansh is a recluse with crippling social anxiety. Ansh’s illness already complicates their family lives, but it goes from bad to worse when a killer targets the family. Each of the brothers has his courage and ethics tested by the situation, and each must consider how far he will go to protect his family and friends. Both Yash and Ansh become entangled in intrigues and romance, and Ansh also looks for a cure to his emotional issues in the changes that come.
That the title is in English and Hindi is clever because Depth of Pyaar also switches back and forth between English and Hindi dialogue, sometimes mid-sentence. For English speaking audiences, the Hindi is subtitled, and vice versa. It’s jarring to watch. The viewer must keep up with the rapid changes, and if you’re not looking sharp, it’s a subtitle sneak attack. This is how multilingual speakers talk in real life when speaking to someone else who knows both languages, but it’s a challenging choice for a movie. There are also Russian speaking characters, just for good measure.
“Each of the brothers has his courage and ethics tested…”
The action bounces between flashbacks and the present day without much notice, and the transitions aren’t always obvious. The cinematography is sketchy. The lighting in many scenes is too dark to see the image. This is of particular concern because the same actor is playing the two main characters. Patience will be rewarded, even if it takes the first act to understand the characters and plot.
Though the film was shot in Canada, it inherits much from the filmmaker’s Bollywood tradition. The scope of the story is vast. It’s a crime thriller, a family drama, a romance, and a mystery all rolled into one with a couple of music-video style sections.
Asopa wore many hats to get this movie made: writing, directing, starring (in two roles), and he’s also credited as producer. It’s an amazing workload for one person. His ambition may have extended beyond his reach, but he still churned out a good, if somewhat chaotic, result. Depth of Pyaar is entertaining for all: Bollywood fans will enjoy a structure they’re accustomed to, and those not as familiar with that style will still find the film accessible.
"…Pyaar is the Hindi word for love..."