Mumbai, 09 Aug 2019 11:43 IST
The lead actors hardly fit into the milieu and theme of Prashant Singh's film, which is already overburdened with a long-winding, and muddled script.
While it is understandable why one would cast two young, good looking, and reasonably talented actors to helm a comedy entertainer, someone from the production houses of Jabariya Jodi ought to have looked at the casting.
In the midst of Sanjay Mishra, Gopal Dutt, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and even Jaaved Jaafferi, who pull off the Bihari attitude and style, Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra stand out like sore thumbs. Throw in the confusing, meandering script by Sanjeev Jha, and Prashant Singh's film feels like a tedious waste of a good premise.
Abhay Singh (Siddharth Malhotra) is the son of the lecherous baahubali (strong man) Hukam Singh (Jaaved Jaafferi). They run a profitable business of kidnapping men of marriageable age and getting them married, dowry free. The game turns on its head, when Babli Yadav (Parineeti Chopra), the childhood sweetheart of Abhay returns. After a mix-up, Babli decides to play the same game and gets Abhay kidnapped to marry. Except, inexplicably, she then lets him go and make his own choice.
When Abhay is roused by a prospective groom of Babli talking lecherously, he decides to go against his father's principles. But then, it had to happen sometime.
The only character who actually feels true is Aparshakti Khurana's Santosh. The ignored friend who has a crush on Babli, he gets to do one of the more honest lines of the film. As both characters stagnate within their feelings, Santosh says, 'You were in your ego. He was in anger. No one was in love, except me.' Delivered with poignancy, the line stays with you past the unnecessary drama that brings the story to a long-overdue conclusion.
This is not to say the film does not have its moments. Sanjay Mishra, Gopal Dutt, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Aparshakti Khurana, and Jaaved Jaafferi join a professional cast who make the most of the one-liners that come their way. Their behavioural tics add to the authenticity of their characters.
The same can hardly be said for either Siddharth Malhotra or Parineeti Chopra. Malhotra is sincere in his attempt to play the fashion-forward, charming baahubali, but his urbane mannerisms are an intrinsic part he cannot discard. The audience can hardly be expected to suspend disbelief to that extent.
Parineeti Chopra goes one step further to play a fashion diva in a small town. The actress's attire, and maroon hair, hardly feels at home in the movie's setting.
But these are simply the superficial elements. The more irksome part is the long-winding tale, which keeps detouring away from the main premise. After a point, the 'forced marriages' simply feel like a superficial social issue mask to get your attention, and hardly worth the effort.
Some excuse can be made for the film as Prashant Singh's directorial debut, but Singh lets the story meander into unreasonable dead ends. There are characters and actors brought in simply to keep the story going for the two-hour mark.
Raaj Shaandilyaa and Neeraj Singh deliver some sparkling one-liners and witty conversation that sparks life into a middling script. One only hoped that the director had found a sharper pair of scissors to cut out the unnecessary elements, and a better casting choice for the lead roles.
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