two and half stars
Like Finding Macarons in Soggy Bhelpuri!
A soggy bhelpuri of shaadi stuff is the framework for this movie. Thankfully redeemed by the delightful lead pair, who are effortlessly engaging.
Take every hateful cliche you can find in a shaadi: weird relatives, shaadi songs, clothes with zari and jewelery, chhed-chhaad and food. Then add to this mostly blah setting, the most amazing lead pair with behavioral problems. It’s like finding Macarons in your bhelpuri. You don’t know if you want to hate it or love it.
Parineeti Chopra is so effortless you love the ease with which she fits into any role. She is brilliant in fact with the material she is presented and performs like a dream.
Trouble is, Valley Of The Dolls got it right many, many years before this film does. The Uppers and the Downers are so easy to understand. Here, every time the heroine mentions ‘Serotonin’ as her choice of antidepressants, and is made to behave badly as a result of popping those pills, I remembered my doctor saying, ‘Eat a banana when you are feeling depressed, because bananas have Tryptophan that releases Serotonin which is a feel happy chemical in the brain.’ If she’s as good with Chemistry as she’s supposed to be, then the filmmakers should have recognised that the side effects are more Ritalin (the nervous tap-tapping, the widening of the eyes to see better because vision is blurred) and Norepinephrine (needing to eat sugar, the fight or flight response, the not-caring about consequences) and Serotonin makes you happy, not turn you instantly into a Priyanka Chopra in Barfi person.
Chemistry arguments aside, the track of the two lovers is simply awesome. Siddarth Malhotra is so good, I’d advice young women to watch out for anyone who looks at them the way Siddarth Malhotra looks at Parineeti in the movie, kidnap them and keep them in the basement until they agree to be theirs for ever and ever. He wears his clothes well and makes the rest of the cliched family look good.
Mohan Joshi, the brilliant actor, mostly seen in forgettable movies, makes us believe in the love between fathers and daughters and his logical, ‘Why can’t she have the money?’ made me reach out for the box of tissues.
There are some beautiful moments in the movie which come at you unexpectedly: Adah Sharma’s moment of realisation when she sees the fifty phone messages, the hug Siddarth and Parineeti share in the locked room, the late night daru and snack place scene where Siddarth goes alone, the mosquito infested guest house scene... And that’s when you realise the director is a veteran of ad films, and these moments are well made.
What one loved the most was the humor. And I am not talking about the weird uncle who keeps asking everyone, ’And then?’ or the weird small town cousin with big dreams (he’s a good actor that guy, but why are all small town cousins in Hindi cinema so weird?)... Watch out for the balcony and terrace scene, the spoof of a TV show, the shopping expedition, the tea tray scene, the general repartee between friends - all written in delicious good humor.
I hated the Shaadi scenes. Overdressed people and overdressed sets, the overdone ‘Gujjuness’ and ‘NorthIndian-ness’, things going wrong at weddings, last minute panic, people sleeping on the floor and crammed in an apartment... This goes on and on and on (at one point I thanked the Lord that there was no Haldi ceremony or the ghastly stealing of footwear) ...
Thankfully, the two lead characters and their escapades made the movie delightful. I should have dug deeper for a Chemistry or drug related headline and punchline. But like Parineeti who does not find the wet towel, I too can think only of food metaphors. This movie is a hotch-potch soggy shaadi bhelpuri and you find delicious macarons in the mess.