Friday, May 12, 2017


An Exasperatingly Boring Love Story

2 stars

Mini Review:

Have you ever been tied to a chair, and subjected to listening to someone else reading from their ‘dear diary’ entries for 30 years? That’s exactly how you feel when watching Ayushman Khurana and his beard drone on and on and on about this one crush he’s had on Bindu who friendzoned him like, forever. You come away loving Parineeti Chopra’s performance and wonder if Chetan Bhagat wrote this asinine story.

Main Review:

Frank Capra said: There are no rules in filmmaking, only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.

Ugly bearded boy has had a crush on his childhood friend who is this beyond-his-reach-girl, the gorgeous Parineeti Chopra. The story starts with how the lad has always had a crush on the girl who has friendzoned him for ever and ever. Now either he’s too dumb to take the hint or he just won’t get over her. He is Bengali (more Karolbagh than Kolkata) and she’s Tamilian (and I’m Merlin The Magician!) and as their story unfolds, it sounds more and more like Chetan Bhagat’s biographical stories...And it slowly kills all your brain cells one by one by one.

Ranbir Kapoor he’s not. Ranbir has this ‘Just woken up Sid’ type innocence that you don’t begrudge him a little rudeness. But when Ayushman Khurana pretends to be rude, he just sounds horrible. You are surprised and happily so at the sight of Khopdi (from the cult TV show Nukkad) and are exclaiming to yourself and to people around you, ‘He’s alive! He’s alive!’ when Ayushman Khurana (who’s sitting on Khopdi’s scooter) snipes at him, ‘Tum bag ko sambhalo na! (Don’t listen to us!)’. Seriously?! A man who claims to be in love and talks to people in that rude manner should be dropped off from the nearest cliff!  

Parineeti Chopra’s character is strangely drawn too. We don’t know what she’s studying (she’s shown taking exams with Ayushman), or what she’s qualified for. We only know she dropped out of college when her mother dies in the year 2000.

Oh yes, the calendar. The movie starts reminiscing about them growing up. If we assume he’s almost thirty, then the movie has a monotonous monologue explaining how he has loved her for 30 years. Some parts of the dialog are clever, the ones that incorporate the Kishor Kumar songs and offer cinematic references, but that’s all they are. And better read than be told during the movie. The monologue is interrupted by two really wonderful, real, honest characters: Ayushman’s mum and dad played naturally by Aparajita Adhya and Rajatava Datta. Not only are they the best thing about this movie (half a star each!), and one half star goes to the art director who thought of putting his mum and dad’s photographs on the table. Wonderful touch that. So we suffer his memory diarrhea for almost thirty years, and even though the film is 119 minutes long, you think you’re Rip Van Winkle when you come out of the theatre.

No amount of 'kewl' names for pulp fiction - Guitar Phobia, Dracula Lover Chudial Ki Choli or references to the joy of old Hindi film music can take the boredom of the narrative away.

One request to Yash Raj. Please step out of the studios and see how young people dance or behave when happy. They certainly don’t go to gigantic studio spaces fitted with empty tram cars and jump simultaneously in the air. The song is so pointless and out of touch with reality… But yes, Parineeti Chopra has a wonderful singing voice, and even though her songs are lost in the inanity of Ayushman’s droning of his story, she deserves half a star for her talent. I wish she has better luck with the script next time! This one was mostly ‘acting’ bindaas or dumb but pretty girl.

If you wish to escape the summer heat outside or seek help in falling asleep, this film is a great option.

P.S. Do Bengalis dance in the rain? or is it 'Bhetore esho! Oshuk hoye jaabe!' and 'Come shona! Wear your monkey cap!'?

(this review sans Frank Capra quote and the post script appear on nowrunning dot com)

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