Mumbai, 04 Mar 2019 12:58 IST
From the repetitive story to the dull acting, there's nothing fresh in this inter-religious love drama.
The done-to-death trend of making a teenage love story based in a village with lovers from different social and/or religious backgrounds just refuses to die. After the blockbuster success of Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat (2016), a series of films on the same theme have been tried continuously in the form of like Yuntum (2017), Baban (2017), Lagna Mubarak (2018) and some more. Now, for some reason, debutant director Karan Tandale’s Perfume is also based on the same theme.
To put it simply, Perfume is about Mehak (Monalisa Bagal), the daughter of a rich political mafia (Sayaji Shinde), and Chandan (Omkar Dixit), the poor son of a perfume manufacturer. Mehak and Chandan fall in love and wish to get married. The film is an unintentionally hilarious exercise on how our samaaj does not allow two people from different religious backgrounds to be together.
This should be the end of the review. But since you have come this far, read further as I have some fun [read: earn my bread and butter].
The character of Mehak stands out, and not for any good reason. She has the superhuman ability to smell things others can’t [what a way to live up to one's name!]. So, she can smell Chandan even from a distance and goes into a trance, just like we've seen in deodrant advertisments.
Surprisingly, students standing closer to Chandan seem to be oblivious to his trance-inducing fragrance. Let’s hope there are not many people like Mehak, or else the police dogs would be out of jobs.
Just because Chandan smells good, she falls in love with him by declaring, “Chandan I love you. You touched my heart. It’s a miracle!” Inspite of her weak pronunciation and grammar, she is regularly made to speak in English. Turns out she was studying in London, but has now left to return to her motherland. Regular stereotyping means she must speak English every now and then, otherwise it would be difficult to justify her return from the Queen's land.
Mehak, at times, is emotionless. Her uncle (Chinmay Mandlekar) brutally kills an eve-teaser in front of her. Minutes later, she is seen enjoying with her classmates. As Chandan keeps unintentionally blocking her car’s way on a bridge a few times [when the two don’t know each other], she rams the car into him, throwing him in the river and injuring him. She apologizes to him barely meaning it, but flashes a smile. Wait, at least she is nice enough to pay for the damages.
Chandan gets beaten up regularly in the film. You feel for his character because Dixit displays much better acting skills than the actress. The same can be said for Chinmay Mandlekar. It also feels bad to see a talented bloke like him in such films.
Mehak’s father Jamal Qureshi, played by Sayaji Shinde, is another character you can’t ignore. Shinde played the short-tempered evil politician Bachoo Yadav convincingly in Shool (1999). Ever since, he has been stereotyped in the role of an angry villain, mostly a politician, countless times in Hindi, Marathi and south Indian films. Bhikari (2017), Sanju (2018) and Kaala (2018) were his recent similar roles.
That’s enough for the day. You may now go back to your boring lives.
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