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A light, meaningful study of the youth

A.K.
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Writer Jaideep Sahni asks pertinent questions about society without resorting to sermons.
Writer Jaideep Sahni asks pertinent questions about society without resorting to sermons.

Shuddh desi romance (Hindi)

Director: Maneesh Sharma

Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Tarun Vyas, Kunal Kumar

Director Maneesh Sharma knows more than a thing or two about marriage. If Band Baaja Baraat was set against the flourishing business of wedding, here he is trying to tell us that the ilk of Shaadi Mubarak, the wedding business that the protagonists of his first film had put together, is in danger of shutting shop because this generation can see through the drawbacks of arranged marriage and the fakery of the rituals. The generation above 35 might see it as a far-fetched joke but as Sharma and writer Jaideep Sahni unravel the layers you get a reality check.

Interestingly, he tells us the story through two fakes and one cheated. Besides their other preoccupations, Gayatri (Parneeti Chopra) and Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput) are hired by a local wedding planner (Rishi Kapoor) in Jaipur to lend some variety to the marriage procession. They are suited to see through the charade and give the viewer a chance to laugh at them until he/she realises that the joke is on him/her.

Broadening the horizons of romantic comedy, writer Jaideep Sahni asks pertinent questions about society without resorting to sermons. This generation wants to check everything about the partner before tying the knot.

Is it possible, is it fair…seldom have we seen such clarity in mirroring the confusion of the young mind. Urban mobility and financial security has made family a fantasy and has turned boys and girls masters of their own destiny but can physical intimacy guarantee emotional integrity.

Subtly, Sahni brings forth the tamasha of arranged marriage. The dialogues are conversational and insightful. He hasn’t set his wild set of characters in some elite world. They are very much next door and relatable. Breaking the type, the girl doesn’t need to get into a short dress to smoke and the guy doesn’t get away with flirtation.

Yes, to spur the comical element, Sahni has employed the creative licence. The characters take a loo break only when they are about to take the vows and it does start raising a stink towards the end.

At times, Sahni seems to be speaking a bit too much through the sanctimonious wedding planner, but he rounds it up with a solid punch. For a change, we get to see contemporary Jaipur and editor Namrata Rao uses her scissors with precision.

Parineeti Chopra is proving to be a more than good friend of camera these days. She allows us to discover Gayatri with all her shades. One had doubts about Sushant Singh Rajput loosening up for a character who has mastered the art of flirting but perhaps he has been made to watch Band Baaja Baaraat many times as you can see a reflection of Bittoo in him. Newcomer Vaani Kapoor, the third angle in the triangle proves to be the weak link. Rishi Kapoor is couple of notes higher than required.

Like Rocket Singh , the last film that Sahni wrote, it is a light yet meaningful study of youth rather than a frivolous party of some good looking dimwits. If the promos suggest something else, don’t judge the film before buying the ticket.

A.K.

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