Do Lafz? Do Karod Meaningless Lafz!
This is a remake of a Korean film Always/ Only You. Also remade a year ago in Kannada as Boxer. And it successfully hammers the last nail in the coffin of groan-inducing schmaltzy romances. She’s blind and he’s burnt out and they fall in love. She talks so much, it’s a miracle they don’t announce half-way through the movie that he’s gruff and quiet because he’s deaf.
Kajal Agarwal’s Jenny shows up within ten minutes of us watching Randeep Hooda (Suraj) in a very bad haircut do manly jobs, run from one job to another without saying anything. Then Kajal Agarwal starts talking. At the end of two and half hours, she’s still talking. She’s a pretty girl, but the chirpy act begins grating on your nerves within the hour. You want to shut yourself out from the nonsense she's spouting. You want to know why Randeep Hooda is the way he is in the movie. How did he build that body after losing all that muscle mass in Sarabjit? Was this made before Sarabjit?
'You smell... Look at the TV not me... You are buddhu... Bindiya says...'
As you ponder the Sarabjit questions, you realise Kajal is still talking. No wonder Osmanbhai chose to retire without telling her! And then you notice that she has large eyes. Beautiful large eyes. And you choke over popcorn because she hasn’t blinked them ever since she walked into the frame an hour ago.
'You won't leave your girlfriend, no... I walk a mile to watch TV...This is going to be our house...'
‘Carry me!’ is what petulant attention-hungry kids say when they realise that their parent has discovered a particularly interesting book, or has made themselves a cuppa, or has finished the tiring groceries. You see a grown up (yes, and slightly injured) Kajal make Randeep walk and walk and walk and walk with her piggybacking him all the way. The girls sitting around you have already texted their boyfriends, ‘Will you carry me if my foot is hurt?’ and have received replies like ‘no’ instantly. It’s not enough that he carried her all the way home, but then she makes him clean up a clogged toilet too. While you are expecting him to be doing the dishes soon, you quickly nip out and get yourself a coffee.
When you come back, she’s still talking.
'We're Indian... Buddhu...Talk to my dead parents... Even tho' I'm blind I know exactly where they're buried...'
You conclude that it’s not love or deafness that makes him return to boxing. It’s her incessant chatter. The gym gives him time to stay away from her chatter. But at the gym too, there’s a song that wails something about ishq and some such thing.
There are absolutely no moments of silence in the film. No gazing into each other’s eyes, so soulful reminiscing. This movie is all chatter. And if there’s a smidgen of feminism inside which questions her blithe acceptance of him saying, ‘I’ll take care of you’, you would die several deaths.
'I love water slides... Why do you not take me out to dinner... Buddhu, my first love was my papa...'
But that would be easy. This film keeps you tortured. First you see Kajal teach visually impaired children sculpting. Then you discover she’s a masseuse. How and when did that happen? You want to now definitely want to run away, but Randeep has volunteered to die instead. He really wants her voice inside his head to stop? You had better see this.
'I can massage... I run a shop too... And I now have a car... I am so-oh friendly with customers...'
She’s still talking. And crying. Randeep has vanished. You see some cage boxing that provides relief from her talk, but then he comes back. He really has a death wish! Then he does the most caring thing I have seen on screen: he steals her turtle lying in a Pet jar and releases it in a lake. Before you applaud him, he stands stunned. She’s found him! He sighs and accepts his fate.
You come out of the theater and text your loved ones to promise you will never claim to love them the way Jenny did Suraj. You run out when the credits roll and she's still talking...
'Why did you leave me... I am buddhu... Hospital is also buddhu... You were a Stabbing victim, and they let me massage your back...'