It had been so long that I had seen a good movie. I was even ready to settle for Jagga Jaasoos just to break the longest movie upvaas I had been having. But then Harry Met Sejal was just around the corner and I decided to see the movie I had been waiting for.
Such a simple love story formula movie it promised to be. No tension, King Khan on home turf, amusing title, chirpy actress, foreign locales and a caricaturist premise – Gujju ben Vs. Punjabi duddo! How can anything go wrong?
This seemed to be the movie that we all love to see SRK in.
But I think we all need to grow up. Starting with SRK.
I mean, at a time when Aamir, Akshay, Irrfan and so many others are getting to do such non-formulaic films, unpretentious roles, where the storytelling matters more than hogging the screen time, don’t know how SRK is still happy with just falling in love. That too in phoren. When will he wake up to the fact that those dimpled grins also have an expiry date?
Anyway, for old times sakes, I was ready for a cute love story too. But then, Imtiaz Ali, being Imtiaz Ali, had to complicate that too.
Why oh! why does everyone need to show us all the different angles of a love story! Like it’s a PHD pact between these few, the Yash Chopra clan, the KJo gang, the masters of relationships Imtiaz Ali and his ilk. They are all like, Inko to ab bata hii dete hai, ki relationship aisi bhi hoti hai. One sided, three sided, round, round about, going nowhere, coming from nowhere, puppy love, kitty love, marital, extra marital, aur ab – Role play. Lets play girl friend boyfriend! Just pretend play! Why baba? Aiyvayii… ?
Because I am going to get married, and phir baad me yeh sab mazaa thodi aayega? I have an excuse – to look for my ring, (and my pappa’s money to re-go to all those places alone with SRK the tour guide). And you poor lonely Raju guide, for all those many days you can think I am your girlfriend. You are so lonely na?!! Awww… Was that supposed to be the mush value of the movie?
Man! Give us a break!!
Plus, what’s with being alone, abroad and being a hypocrite and coward and doing all the things you wouldn’t dare doing back home?? I mean, koi dekhnewala, rokne-tokne wala nahi hai toh you want to zabardastii befriend a stranger, go around different cities with him…That guy makes separate sleeping arrangements for you but you want to oh so innocently cuddle up to him, because, lo and behold! after all your dare devilry acts of going to sleazy bars and pubs alone in phoren places, you are now afraid of the dark and thunder J Long live the age of innocence!
Of late a slew of movies have shown the same thing, haven’t they? Ranbir – Anushka in Ai Dil Hai Mushkil, Ranbir – Deepika in Tamasha, no strings attached wala good time with desi strangers!
Anyway, let’s return to our all senses defying love story. So, there’s this gujju babe from Mumbai whose dad is in the diamond business and who is engaged to her similar kind. Now this girl is also a lawyer, her arguing skills they show off in a few scenes. But hello, this girl has to be a caricature because her name is Sejal, and all gujjus must have a Daya bhabhi from Taarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma accent. And the gujju lawyer girl from Mumbai is daft. Jhalli, as the ‘lonely-so-lets-pretend’ boyfriend calls her. And she is beautiful and sweet, sister type. Not ‘that’ type.
Meanwhile, the lonely-so-lets-pretend boyfriend is an angry young-old man, who has left his pind in Punjab and works in Europe as a tour guide. Why is he angry and bitter? Don’t ask. It’s an Imtiaz Ali film, all his heroes are angry and suffering from some victim complex. This guy here, doesn’t even have a plausible reason. Nobody kicked him out of his pind in Punjab. Nobody jilted him in love, he is shown to be a womanizer, so he’s not even frustrated 🙂 but still he gets those B/W nightmares of wheat fields and phulkari dupattas. And on troubled nights he wakes up muttering and crying. If you are so miserable, go back to your pind fella!
Anyway, Sweet Sej and Dirty Harry, on the pretext of looking for a ring lost in any of the half a dozen countries all over Europe a month back! …are hell bent on showing off to each other how ‘cool’ they are. One cool says to the other I am such a ganda aadmi, I see women with giri nazar, you watch out gal! You are the sweet type, I don’t want to see you get hurt. Go back to your fiancé. Now to our lawyer but daft girl, this is an insult! Me? Sweet? Bah! I am sexy. Don’t you dare insult me by thinking I am not that type. (Wow! What aspirations in life!) I am gujju and selfish! I will pretend to be your girlfriend only till I find my ring. Then I fly back to my Rupen, the boring fiancé. You! You gotta take care my friend, don’t fall in love. I dare you to. Or was it I dare you not to? Still confused.
No prizes for guessing the end. I will not even elaborate. There are more interesting facts to talk about 😉
For example, some thugs were chasing the couple and our sweet but wannabe sexy, oomphy-nymphy sej is worried what about what should be her reactions if the thugs force themselves upon her!!! Unbelievable, right?!
And all the beautiful phoren countries are shown unsafe at night for single women! The clubs are full of lechs. Now that’s poetic justice for the phirangs who label India as unsafe. Or is it?
All said and done, the movie could have given a superb Punjabi tadka to a gujju dhokla, or but it ended up becoming a ridiculous strawberry bharta with tutti-fruity 🙂
PS: I may have been a little too harsh on the film, but come on, its SRK! He really needs to give us more than his lopsided grins and groovy eyes after so many years in business. Nobody is saying that you are too old for love stories. Try a Bridges of Madison County. There’s none equal to you in romance. But this?