RomCom That Starts Happy, Ends Blah
2 and 1/2 stars
Everyone wants to be Hugh Grant. Saif Ali Khan comes close. This close but the filmmakers want it to be a satire too, and that's where it fails. But it's way better than some of the romantic comedies thrown our way.
So Saif wants is almost Hugh Grant. And this movie has its moments too. But in its desperate need to 'not be a rom-com' because 'guys' wrote it and it was meant to be 'satirical', it falls flat.
As a Rom-Com, it works because there is cool role reversal. And Saif does a pretty good job as a Runaway Bride. The fact that we have seen many, many movies about the writer's block and how the crusty writer falls in love with someone who simply breezes into his life, clueless about love does not matter as long as it is put in a different, more relatable setting.
Hugh Grant himself falls for his lyricist in Music And Lyrics. He also does the Casanova thing and falls for lemme-have-a-quick-romp-and-leave Andie Mac Dowell in Four Weddings And A Funeral. So this movie has a tried and tested Rom-Com thing. It's just that it is not romantic enough for us to suddenly believe Saif changing his ways.
If it is a satire, the movie needed to be much smarter than it is. The inner 'Yogi' (what a terrific character created! Sometimes Slob, sometimes SriSri!) needed to play a bigger part.
Govinda - so awesome - is on a roll! Had there been more to him we could have had an enjoyable trip (a sharper, smarter version of Main Khiladi Tu Anadi).
The supporting cast is immensely likeable. Ranvir Shorey as Saif's best friend has some of the funniest lines and his comic timing is good.
Preity Zinta's character has been carelessly created. A hot ex girlfriend who is teen bachhon ki maa could have been so much fun, but we see her drinking chai. Blah!
Kalki Koechlin gets the best role. But we've seen that before too (reminded me of Seinfeld's girl with that annoying laugh).
Also, I loved the way it does not try too hard to speak Hindi. The urban English and Hindi mix works just fine.
Just saying that 'it's a satire on the process of writing cinema' doesn't wash. Had there been no subtitles, the writers would have perhaps given us a better romance. This is so in-between two things, sometimes it's a yawn or a groan.
I like romances, I do. And everyone loves satire. But this one tries so hard it sort of falls flat. Neither is it an honest to god romance, nor is it a satire. And you do wonder how Saif and Ranvir disable the tracking software on the phone when they believe breaking the laptop is the only way to delete a video from the computer...
Having cringed at things like that, the movie was still an immensely enjoyable watch.
(One star for SriSri Saif, One for Govinda and the half for the supporting cast)