Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 31st May, 2013
Time : 161 minutes
Director & Writer : Ayan Mukherji; Music : Pritam
Starring : Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Farooque Shaikh, Poorna Jagannathan
There are some great, funny moments which help salvage a film that otherwise deals only in clichés and treads softly in very shallow ground.
Deepika is a nerd. School topper. Now studying medicine. Feels hemmed in. Meets cool (wearing grungy short shorts, so must be cool ?) and outspoken schoolmate, Kalki, by chance at a supermarket. Learns she is going with some friends to Manali for a trek. And decides to run away and join them. Aditya Roy Kapur is also with them, playing the part of a good for nothing skirt chaser. While Ranbir Kapoor is the life and soul of the group, while also being good for nothing and a compulsive flirt and allergic to marriage and commitment.
The first half is all about this trip. And the second half, eight years later, is all about a wedding (what else, it’s a Karan Johar production after all ?) and all the characters getting back together again. Where everything seems to have changed while remaining the same.
The ‘I never’ game, played in the train enroute to Manali, is fun. The dance sequence with the vodka fuelled Kunaal is hilarious. The toffee instead of the ring was a nice touch. And Farooque Shaikh stands out in his brief appearance as Ranbir’s dad (the Rooh Afza acha hai was beautifully done).
For the rest, the movie delights in dealing in cliché’s. It relies a lot on Ranbir’s cuteness and dancing ability, gives him charm and a carefree attitude but no depth. It is chock a block with songs, using them to express every emotion (happy, sad, heartbreak, wedding – its all in there).
But most galling for me were the weak women characters in the film. Deepika, having had a heart broken once, is so weak-kneed in front of Ranbir, that all she fears is falling for him again (give me a break) and not being able to recover from that (you’ve got to be kidding). She is now a successful doctor, seems to have recovered from her school day inability to make friends but is apparently the type of woman who will be sitting by herself at home. On New Year’s Eve. And, of course, despite the eight year gap, has never had a boyfriend (apparently Indian women don’t do that kind of stuff). Kalki, for all her spunk, goes gushingly desi (kind of like Deepika in Cocktail) when it comes to marriage. And even Poorna Jagannathan, in the tiniest of roles, cant stop gushing over Ranbir, offering him the job of a lifetime. Haven’t the makers of this film ever met any woman with a real backbone ? Who can give as good as they get ? Who can moderate behavior based on the kind of guy they are dealing with ? Just found the characters so inconsistent and well, regressive, despite the drinks and the short dresses.
The songs, apart from the catchy ‘Badtameez Dil’, lack bite, including the much hyped (and unnecessary item number with Madhuri). The second half is stretched and the climax way too long drawn. A cloud of predictability hangs over the film. But I guess the advantage of being shallow is its all light, bubbly, frothy, the style and clothing impeccable and the fun catchy enough to entertain and make this one fall neatly in the low impact but totally ‘timepass’ category.