Saturday, 8 February 2014

Dil-logical My Review Hasee Toh Phasee

Director  Vinil Mathew

Starring  Parineeti Chopra, Sidharth Malhotra, Sharat Saxena, Neena Kulkarni, Manoj Joshi, Adah Sharma

"Tum aa rahi ho ya jaa rahi ho?" asks Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) " Filhal toh phansee hui hoon" replies Meeta (Parineeti). That to me is the status of the main characters in the film. They are all trying to escape, trying to find happiness, trying to break out, but are stuck. Some in their madness, some in their weakness, some in their commitments, some in their expectations.

Hasee Toh Phasee as a title doesn't do justice to the film, which is so much more than a simple rom-com that you may go expecting, based on the promos. I guess they wanted a catchy, safe title.

We are introduced to a young Meeta and Nikhil, both good at using their sharp brains to do naughty stuff that leaves their parents and others agape. If Nikhil's father, a police officer (Sharat Saxena) is always angry at his antics, Meeta's dad (Manoj Joshi) encourages her by giving her more challenges to crack. We see them 10 years later where destiny makes them bump into each other at a Gujarati wedding Nikhil has run away from Delhi to attend. When he meets her, she is running away to Goa. They meet again seven years later, seven days before his marriage, unknown to him, to her sister Karishma (Adah Sharma). What follows is a heartwarming tale of bonding and bindings and breaking free.

It is a pleasure to see well etched out characters, each one leaving an impression, in roles big and small. The Gujarati side of Meeta sees Manoj Joshi as a lovable father, who doesn't see his daughter as deviation, but an extension of himself. The others are also know Gujarati television and theater actors. Sharat Saxena as a strict albeit funny Police officer is again in top form, one of my favorite actors. Another special mention must be made of the Anu Malik fan relative of Nikhil, who is a chalta phirta orchestra in himself. Bonus is Tinu Anand in a cameo!

Adah Sharma doesn't have a long role, but she is quite befitting the character of a girl who wants Nikhil to be successful at business, like her dad, and breaks off with him at the drop of a hat. Sidharth is pleasant on screen, is learning fast and gives a convincing performance ranging from a fun loving young man, to a responsible fiance who doesn't shirk from his responsibility and commitments made. The routes he takes are dubious at times, but heart always in the right place.

Now coming to Mental Meeta. The film stands firmly on Parineeti's shoulders. She has me besotted. Not one second in the film when she is there, I could take my eyes off. Perfectly cast, in an author backed role, she has proven she has more to her than just bubbly, feisty characters she has been playing till now. Her Meeta makes you laugh, roll your eyes, cry, feel frustrated, wanting to hug her as she plays one of the most vulnerable characters seen in recent times. As a Chemical engineer from IIT, who is different from her sisters, is not understood, ridiculed and has run off on her sister's wedding causing her father to have a heart attack, she has found solace in anti-depressants. Her facial tics, her motor fast speech and then sleeping with a wet towel on her stomach to ward of hunger pangs.... this girl has worked hard on her performance and it shines. Her graph grows, pretty much like her hair, styled differently for each stage. From a unkempt boy-cut to a more styled long out curls towards the end. Her tooth-paste eating, battery fixing, vada pao craving madness has a lovely method to it.

Sidharth and Parineeti make a good pair, from innocent friendship to a deep bonding to love... they grow comfortably together. The film is full of tender moments, my favorite, the one where she is locked inside a room and Sidharth finds her later (Look out for it!)

The film's story doesn't follow the typical pattern, sometimes not logically tying threads together, not giving you certain answers, specially the long portions where Karishma is totally missing, but I did not find them big enough for me not to like the film. To see a character like Meeta in a mainstream film itself is paisa wasool for me. To see a female protagonist so flawed yet so endearing, reminds me of Raat Aur Din, Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam's iconic ladies. And this one still has a long career ahead if this performance is any indication. After Shuddh Desi Romance, this is another avatar you will see of Parineeti.

The film is fresh, the director totally in command, full marks to Vinil Mathews for that, the dialogues are a high point (Harshwardhan Kulkarni, Anurag Kashyap, Vinil Mathew and Purva ). Sanu's camerawork is getting better with each film. The music by Vishal Shekhar is good, specially Zahenaseeb, which sounds even better after watching the film.

What seems like an old story of boy meets girl and by the time realizes he loves her it is too late, gets a fresh lease of life in a way most interesting is Hasee Toh Phasee.

Watch it for Parineeti's scene stealing performance in a very very endearing character. And for some mad moments!

My Verdict 3.5/5

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