60-year-old chubby man sits squashed between his stylish, ambitious daughter and her “loser” boyfriend on a scooter as they ride off to land the old man a job. He chatters away nervously, as the two young lovers pep-talk him into giving his best shot.
This is probably one of the few charming moments in director Nupur Asthana’s first take on love.
While her decision to put the spotlight on romance during recession might appear unusual, it’s her cosmetic approach that ruins the ride. Moreover, Bollywood romances have always focused on lover’s economic disparity, so much so that recession or not, money matters were cause of innumerable break-ups in the past.
She should’ve, instead, unfolded her story from where she pitches the “happily ever after” sign in ‘Bewakoofiyaan’. Probably, it could’ve turned truly memorable, and possibly won our hearts.
In its current status, however, it appears like a lazy rip-off of Hollywood comedy ‘Meet The Parents’.
While it’s not a blatant copy, the rejections of an approved lover by his lover’s terrorizing father are far too similar in sensibilities and texture to demand for a case of originality.
There are, however, glimpses of present day ‘recession insecurities’, wherein the unemployed are so shattered by their sudden loss of livelihood that they are strung-up about what jobs to take after. But, those hints of realism are far too few to merit appreciation.
Mohit is a MBA-topper, who rises up the ranks in an airline company, and hopes to win over his ladylove Mayera’s Godzilla of a dad Sehgal. He, a retired government official, puts him on probation, and tests him on various levels to ensure he can make enough money to spoil his daughter.
Recession hits, and Mohit loses his job and any hopes of making an impression on his future dad-in-law with a depleting bank balance and no prospect of landing a good job.
What ensues is a comedy of errors, as Mohit is determined to floor Sehgel and get the green-signal to marry his daughter.
At a time of economic uncertainty, one would’ve hoped that Nupur had exercised more restraint on the editing desk, or indulged in a love story brimming with witty lines or delightful moments.
Even the Bollywood staple of a peppy soundtrack is absent. The tunes that do make it to the big screen, don’t set our pulse racing.
Instead, Nupur banks heavily on her lead pair, who unfortunately lack the talent or the experience, or the “chemistry” to spin this love tale into something genuinely heartwarming.
Even their lines, penned by writer Leepakshi Ellawadi, fail to tickle our funny bone or make us go weak in the knees.
What we witness is Ayushmann and Sonam styled fashionably, and looking incredible in every frame, but wooden and lacking any real affection for each other.
And, that’s a shame considering, Sonam’s got a character that’s (almost) her mirror image, constantly indulging in fashion labels that might technically be a tad cheaper than what she splurges on in real life. Even, Ayushmann is safely designed to fit into his ‘Vicky Donor’ mode, with just a tie and suit as additional accessories.
But, surfacing above all this superficiality is the affable Rishi Kapoor, who despite being given a character that borders on being turned into a caricature, moulds the ostensibly intolerable and unforgiving V K Sehgal into someone exceptionally affectionate.
He’s ably assisted by a gentleman named Gurusharan, who insists on speaking humbly and helping his senior see rational.
Despite showing some promise, this romance fumbles and fizzles without much conviction, reducing it to a lazy DVD watch.
In fact, its sequel, if dealt with precision and heart, could make for something far more fascinating.