Sunday, March 16, 2014


Romance By Recession

There are just mild glimmers of interesting points in Nupur Asthana’s yuppie romance film Bewakoofiyaan. It’s a rare one in which the leading lady has a career she takes seriously.

Both Mayera (Sonam Kapoor) and the man she loves have trendy MBA-type jobs that allow them a high maintenance lifestyle of designer togs, parties, pubs, concerts and holidays all paid for with credit cards.  Mohit (Ayushmann Khurrana) earns less than his “hot” GF (so he and everyone else days), but that doesn’t bother him.

The problem in their romance is Mayera father VK Sehgal (Rishi Kapoor), a just-retired, honest IAS officer, who believes only a rich husband would make his daughter happy. So he puts Mohit through the wringer, while Mayera hops about exasperatedly in the background.

Then recession hits, Mohit loses his job, and the romance skids.  Not so much because of the fear of Dragon Dad (Osama as Mohit calls him), but because money runs out, suitable jobs are not available; Mohit has no family to lean on and no nest egg, so he has to take money from Mayera and his friends and that hits his self-esteem.

Bewakoofiyaan had the potential to be an urban film about real issues that face young people, but it chooses to be a Father Of The Bride kind of vacuous comedy. The father’s disapproval was not the issue, financial instability and disparity was, and a mature film would have dealt with that head-on.

There are also two things that prevent it from being really contemporary—it still portrays the career woman as fickle, her life really depends on which way her love story goes; then, after showing the girl as strong and level-headed, why could Asthana not have made the man follow his girlfriend where her career took her?

The film, shot in Delhi, probably because in Mumbai people like Mohit and Mayera would be living in dingy suburban flats not bungalows and plush apartments; the exteriors make for better visuals too.

The two lead actors are vapid, and as usual it is left to Rishi Kapoor to bring some life into his scenes.  No great music to lift the mood either, this one makes a dull date movie.


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