Sanam Tere Muscles Ki Kasam
1 1/2 stars
'It's a soppy love story, you won't like it,' they tell me. I love the 'love story' part of it. It's different. It's refreshing. And it has been shot with love. The colors are brilliant, the friend-zone love story is really nice. But this film too is cursed by the demon of the second half. The soppiness smothers the story until it stops breathing.
I know dads like Jayram Parthasarathy, who will dab vibhuti on their daughter's forehead and make impossible demands like: unless vibhutihead nerdy older daughter finds an IIT-IIM Shastri boy, younger daughter will not marry.
But I'm ancient. And to see such a dad is like flashback of a time even further than DDLJ. Now comes the interesting part. The nerdy daughter has spine. Played by the Pakistani actor/VJ Mawra Hocane who has rather delicious hands (fault lies with Eddy Redmayne and The Danish Girl!).
There's a muscled, multi-tattooed obviously shirtless, jobless lad who drinks beer (in public and broad daylight!) and exercises. He also has the propensity to making out with girls in the landing area of the building old fashioned lad and family live. There are several complaints about this shirtless bundle of muscle. And the nerd and the muscle are caught in a misunderstanding and instead of dragging the girl by her hair and lock her up in her room, the stern father announces: she's dead to me! I will do 'Pind daan' and perform last rites, he announces. And neither muscle boy nor nerd girl say a word.
Muscle boy finds her a house to live (in Bombay, that soon? Who are you kidding?), and she doesn't go home because 'How could Nanna do this to me!), helps her buy household supplies (does the job at the library pay so much?), sings a bhang song (Kheench Meri Photo), even becomes a member of the library (Catcher In the Rye is a good book for someone's just out of the prison is her claim) (I gagged on the popcorn here, but the love story goes into friend-zoned zone, so I watch), even helps her get a makeover.
Makeover king (Vijay Raaz) lives in Dharavi (all the designers buy from him, we are told). He helps nerd become bird with a snap of his fingers. She even snaps up an IIT-IIM Shastri boy who works in the same building as the library. Muscled lad faals deeper into the friend-zone when he helps her buy her trousseau as well as drive her to the family court to get her married...
I wish muscle lad had acting chops. He just poses no matter what situation he's in. And he's expressionless. No wonder nerd girl has not noticed anything puppy-dog like thing about him. And then we learn that the movie is going to end like Eric Segal's Love Story, and we watch as the audience begins to ask questions like: Can you detect a brain tumor from a routine blood test you take for a Visa application? Who was playing the hospital bills? Do hospitals give discharge to terminal patients because 'You're showing improvement!' and let them walk away alone? Who was paying for all those cars and taxis the girl was driving away in? Why were they going to honeymoon in the city? Why had the girl paid for the honeymoon suite for two days? Why was the makeover queen so ugly? How was the Go Pro camera transmitting live feed of the shaadi? How did the jobless lad pay for that equipment? Do the filmmakers not know removing an IV is not just pulling off the 'pipe' off the drip? When will she die? When will the movie end?
It is painful to watch the love story that goes on and on and on from one implausible thing to another. If there are stars given to the film, they are all for the attempt the heroine makes to make the strange story likeable, for how beautifully the movie has been shot (despite the two random Buddhist monks going walkabout). Muscleboy has been shown with a tattoo on the neck which looks like the Maruti Vitesse logo, which is very distracting. You begin to read all his tattoos and they make no sense. Neither does the movie.
p.s. I did like it a lot in the beginning. I do love 'love stories'. But when Romeo's muscles get in the way, I wish he were the one to die of muscle atrophy instead of the brain tumor we are subjected to...