Indore, Bhopal, and now Lucknow/Kanpur telling us how families will promise ‘acche din’ and ruin lives of young men who continue to hanker after ‘Western kapde’ wali mem, even though they are happily married to Indian saree wali babe. Kartik Aryan is distinctly uncomfortable playing ‘madhyam varg ka aam aadmi’ caught between Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Pandey. Only Apartshakti Khurana saves the sad state of that almost affair.
PLEASE TRY TO READ THIS WITH A GRIN. BECAUSE THE HERO GOES THROUGH 2 HOURS OF SPEAKING AND SMILING.
The young husband and wife call each other ‘Tyagi’ and ‘Tripathi’, offer to put ‘lotion’ on the other’s hand, and have squabbles about how he’s happy to live like a king in a small pond and how she wants to spread her wings in Delhi, so she calls him frog in the well and tells him that he should not expect tadpoles if that’s what he is happy being…
The husband’s friend is happy being unmarried and offers us, the audience relief from the ‘madhyam vargeeya aam aadmi’ and his tedious shaadi ka haal. Aparshakti Khurana crackles as this wisecracking friend (none of his lines though are memorable, except that you remember him getting ragged at the husband’s constant regret about a certain ‘Neha’ who left him…)
Kartik Aryan is rather uncomfortable playing the young husband Abhinav Tyagi (he played another husband in Luka Chhupi ), and he holds lots of khunnas because he has had to tow the line papa tyagi has thrown at him.
I am still trying to figure out how the lad can smile and speak at the same time.
Bhumi Pednekar was ordered to be the slutty bhabi, Vedika Tripathi, who talks like she’s seducing all the time. Even when she’s teaching physics to teenagers like ‘Rakes Yadav’.
Why she allows the student to write her love letters is just beyond imagination. It’s not like that child was promising her a life in Delhi, innit?
And it bothered me why she wore sarees in that odd way.
That brings us to the friend Faheem Rizvi played by Aparshakti Khurana. He’s very very good. And takes away from the tedious life of Tyagi-Tripathi.
The ‘Woh’ shows up to get a licence for a leather factory. And the Pati who is fed up of his moffussil life and the nagging ‘Patni’ is enamoured by her ‘Western’ outfits. Ananya Pandey looks more like Student of The Year than businesswoman in small town.
Abhinav Tyagi wants his wife to be like this attractive girl and his dilemma is very clear in the gifts he buys for the two women: he buys a ‘western dress’ for his wife and a ‘saree’ for his now ‘almost girlfriend’.
I began pitying him then, and the fun simply vanished. Are Indian men so confused? Will they marry a smart woman and still ask her if she can cook…
Of course the movie behaves like ‘madhyam varg’ (middle class) because Abhinav Tyagi does not have the cojones to see his ‘affair’ through. He cannot forget his wife.
The wife has discovered his ‘affair’ and like all ‘madhyam varg’ women leaves home, and flirts outrageously with her ex.
And the damned ex is sober too. He will not cross the ‘mangalsutra’ boundary.
It’s all very tedious.
The color palette of the film is very, very refreshing. The events unfold really well, so there’s not a moment’s respite. It’s just that the predictability of the events is tiring. And the morality, is boring.
Thankfully there aren’t small town shaadi songs to add to the ‘feels’.
There are women in the audience who cackled with delight when the reveal about how wife and woh got together and shame the guy. But there are also men in the audience who whooped when Kartik Aryan goes off on the painfully familiar rant about ‘patis’ being forced to understand consent or be labled balatkaris…
The film will show up on Amazon Prime soon, so as New Yorkers say, Fuhgeddabout it’.