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Lost in Slapstick and Melodrama

  • Ankur Pathak

    Ankur Pathak (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - March 07, 2014 8:14 PM IST
    3.0DM (761 ratings)

    Verdict - Forced slapstick and melodrama sans any nuance or wit makes this film a tedious watch.

    Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal PadiWatch trailerRelease date : August 24, 2012

    To roll out a love story that has it's protagonists reaching a mid-life crisis of a different kind is in itself an inventive concept unheard in Bollywood. To have a backdrop of a particular community, humourized because of their dwindling numbers, is again something refreshing as it lends the drama with a sense of cultural rootedness. But it is not the easiest of tasks to capture the essence of an idiosyncratic culture unless it is an inseparable part of your system. An outsider's perspective, will at best, lend a superficial insight.

    What Bella Sehgal does in her new film is everything that acclaimed Parsian author Rohinton Mistry avoids to do in his books. Picking up two characters who have seemingly led lonesome lives till the point that it's awkwardly unbearable; we see Farhad the good-hearted man working in a lingerie store, who apart from taking immense pride in his job, also dangles a chain around the pockets of his pants - probably his scooter keys, but also a sign of his young-at-heart self. His adorable relationship with mummy and nanny is altered after an encounter with Shirin at the store; a spinster he cannot get his eyes off from. Extended-clan mounts frustrating pressure for marriage, and Farhad sees this as the perfect opportunity. But, like for any Hindi film hero - 40 or playing 40 - obstacles are essential and inevitable. And so they come and are overcome and sugary climax is reached.

    What works with Shirin Farhad is the cute chemistry of the unlikely lead pair and it works well very efficiently because of a brilliant Boman Irani. Farah Khan appears uncomfortably conscious in her new demeanor and is in her comfort zone only when she's allowed to dance (which is a lot of times since the film has like 55 songs). Also, the idea the film presents is a very robust and relevant one - the universality of love that is everlasting. Despite all the normalcy one manages to achieve, life seems a little meaningless without love. Shirin and Farhad are both nursing family dilemmas and in the process, trying to overcome that void. But exploring this interesting relationship in a way that is both comical and sensitive is not something director Bella Sehgal is equipped with.

    The amateur execution comes across in its full glory as she doesn't have witty lines to cover up. So forcibly infused slapstick and melodrama - a highly uncomfortable pair fills in for lack of a competent screenplay.

    The film could have been much more amusing, had the writers taken meticulous effort to work on character nuances and the dialogues, besides steering clear from contrived slapstick and awful melodrama.

    Therefore, it just remains a mediocre product where the traditional hero-heroine have literally aged but managed to retain their professions.

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