Friday, 6 September 2013

My Review Shuddh Desi Romance Chanchal Mann Ati Random

Director Maneesh Sharma

Starring  Parineeti Chopra, Sushant Singh Rajput, Vaani Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma

Maneesh Sharma knows his job. From a really entertaining and bold for Bollywood, Band Bajaa Baarat to a Rom-con-caper Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, he has proven that girl meets boy - they fall in love - things do not go the cliched way is a territory he is very comfortable with.

Shuddh Desi Romance is almost an extension of BBB in a broad sense. Love and what happens next in today's modern world, where neither the boy nor the girl are naive and swooning is the thread that he follows here too.

Raghuram Sitaram (Sushant Singh Rajput) is set to marry Tara (Vaani Kapoor), in an arranged set-up. Raghu who works as a tourist guide - cum - Hired wedding guest (Baarati) - cum - conning salesman doesn't really want to get married and bumps into Gayatri (Parineeti) on the bus full of his own baraatis. He falls for her in a few minutes and they make out, instant chemistry has struck its arrow. But the reality is that Tara is the one who is going to be his wife. Raghu can not go through it and runs away from his own wedding. This starts the ride that is SDR, which goes through twists and turns and the by-lanes of hearts and the city.

The name of the film is not the film, let me say that at the outset. There is nothing desi about the characters and their love. Times have changed and love has evolved with the it. At least that is what the film is trying to say.

Jaideep Sahni has created 3 characters who are mint fresh, yet relatable to young, educated, urban Indians. Raghu, the commitment phobe, not an achiever, yet cocky, Vaani, a bride who can take rejection at the altar in her stride and is so cool she says "Thanda milega?" as the news of the run away groom is broken to her and Gayatri, a wiser beyond her years girl, who has seen enough heart breaks not to give in too easily to her own heart.

The film flows well, specially the first hour is excellent. It is frothy, the writing is very good, the pace is perfect. Despite the predictability, one is immensely engaged. The setting of Jaipur gives the film a rich visual appeal and characters that are really funny, specially Goyal sahab (Rishi Kapoor) who is a Baraati arranger, wedding planner and a father figure to Raghu, and Chacha ji (Rajesh Sharma) in a cameo as Tara's uncle. Rishi Kapoor is sparkling in this avatar as a small town lala ji, and has given a consistent performance. Sushant is in form, and is really easy on the eyes, Parineeti is excellent, and is getting better with each film, despite playing a tonally similar character. The chemistry between Sushant and Parineeti clearly crackles. Vaani Kapoor is a confident performer and has made a good debut.

The dialogues are the real scene stealers, I kept chuckling through out. Jaideep has done an excellent job there and for me they are the best dialouges I have heard this year, yes. The assured direction and the way the film keeps it real and handles its love and love making is a big plus in its favor.

But the film is not without flaws. The screenplay is full of convenient plot points. On the characterization front, apart from Parineeti, I don't garner much about Raghu and Vaani, infact to me Vaani's character is the weakest in the film. The backdrop of Jaipur is clearly a smartly chosen one, purely for its visual appeal. Another thing which I found fraught with convenience to carry forward this story is the fact that Raghu and Vaani are both orphans and even Gayatri doesn't have a mother, only a father who lives far far away in Guwahati. So there is no outer conflict at all.

For a film that is addressing a contemporary issue of live-in relationships, we know that parents do play a very large role in the lives of their kids and these decisions are never easy, the acceptance and the societal pressures on these relationships is what makes them so interesting as a subject for a film. In Salaam Namaste it was Australia, in Jaipur, its almost like a vacuum that our protagonists exist in. Apart from a few fleeting raised eye-brows, it seems its the most normal thing to do in Jaipur. If the motive was to highlight their inner conflicts rather than decisions coming out of outside circumstance, then again, I wish there was some time spent in carving moments looking inside of our protagonists. All in all, I just didn't feel anything for any one. Yes I enjoyed it, tremendously, but did it pull my heart strings... apart from Gayatri's one outburst, no.

Manu Anand's camerawork is nothing short of brilliant, helped greatly by the production design and the real locations, the editing by Namrata Rao keeps the film moving fast, loved the use of slo-mo in Gulaabi, the last half hour of the film seems slow largely due to problems in the narrative. The music of the film is another huge plus. I loved Tere Mere Beech Main and the title track. Kudos to Jigar Sachin.

This film deserves a watch definitely, its a breath of fresh air and firmly pushes the envelope for the kind of films we need to make more and see more.

My Verdict 3/5

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