Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hasee Toh Phasee 

Thoda Rom Thoda Com

Vinil Mathew brings in refreshingly different characters in his love triangle, Hasee Toh Phasee (faintly offensive title), and stops there. One girl is an independent spirited scientist (wow, a girl with brains in a Hindi film!), the other is a model who is not a typical bimbette, and the guy is a sweet and caring loser in the age of the lout.  But they are thrown into a cauldron of relatives, rituals, and minor conflicts in a film that can’t decide whether it wants to be a modern urban story or an old-fashioned soap opera.

Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) is the black sheep of her Gujarati family; she stole money for her ‘project’ and ran away on the day of the wedding of one of her four sisters. She also met Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) on her way out, when he was just about falling for her other sister Karishma (Adah Sharma).

Seven years later when Nikhil and Karishma are getting married, she returns with a huge backpack and a collection of facial tics that are meant to endear her to the audience. Unfortunately, she comes across and annoying and needlessly eccentric, so that poor Nikhil, already labouring under the demands of Karishma, is burdened with the batty sister (the plot somewhat inspired by Rachel Getting Married).

Around them, with the wedding mayhem, are his army of Punjabi relatives, her army of Gujarati relatives, a shrieky uncle and not many ideas to take the story forward.

Parineeti Chopra is perhaps the only actress among the current crop, who could go grungy with such confidence, but why does the director make her pull faces to establish her disturbed state of mind?  Still, she works towards making Meeta a credible character, even when the clichés come rolling in towards the end. Sidharth Malhotra consistent charm saves Nikhil from turning into a wimp.  Manoj Joshi puts in a pleasing cameo as the girls’ patient father.

There’s some rom and very little com in the film; on the positive side, there are quite a few light and engaging moments, but just not enough to make this one the undisputed winner it could have been with Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap as producers—a perfect marriage of romance and reality.


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