It’s not every day that Irrfan Khan turns up in a Bollywood movie, especially in romantic love stories. And he’s surely not going to sign up for something run of the mill.
So before I even saw the movie, I wanted to b’log its review. So here we are…
QQ Single is about two people, a man and a woman, who’ve clearly been through the troughs and peaks of relationships, love and all that comes in between.
Irrfan comes with a tall claim that he’s had three girlfriends, who he was sure were still pining and weeping for him. And Parvathy, the sultry southern belle who strikes a chord with us for her real world, de-glam persona, is widowed with lasting memories of her late husband.
Of course, they have both moved on in life, even hoping for another shot at a second (in case of Irrfan the fourth) innings in life. So, both of them get connected through a corny dating site.
A meeting over two lattes in a coffee shop reveals Irrfan as … the Irrfan as we are accustomed to see – A bit crass, rough around the edges, romeo types, the kind of person the most non-judgemental of us would also end up judging as a wanna-be or a vella guy. The kind you would not even like to be complimented from. The annoying kind?
On the other hand, Parvathy is the urban working woman, tech-savvy, moves around with her laptop kind.
So a complete chalk and cheese couple. Or qareeb qareeb more like anda bhurjee Vs. scrambled eggs.
Well, in all truth, the meeting in real life may not have gone beyond the discovery of starkly opposite characters, but in the movie it did. And the way that Tanuja Chandra, the director handled it, it also seems believable. As in, Irrfan, i.e. Viyogi (his screen name), breezed in like a storm, without giving Jaya (Parvathy) enough time to be polite and scoot. Despite his looks and his loud bearing, he managed to impress Jaya and more importantly, trust him enough to extend the meeting and spend some more time with him.
But at the same time, he appeared like a pheku when he said his three girlfriends were still distraught and would surely end up crying photo phoot ke once they see him, even today.
Now this, Jaya had to see! So, somehow it got decided that they would go visit the girlfriends around different parts of India. They would pose as cousins so as not to raise any eyebrows. Probably, Viyogi was looking for a way to spend some time with this out-of- reach charming lady. And Jaya was looking for an outlandish timeout from her mundane singular life.
I totally get it, there’s more safety and comfort with strangers than with familiars.
And thus begins this so enjoyable road trip, where the cinematographer takes us through lovely locales of Rishikesh, Alwar/Jaipur and the hilly abodes of Gangtok. Not to forget, the train ride onboard the luxurious Fairy Queen.
And through the journey, the endearing but still annoying personality of Viyogi comes shining through.
Perceptions dwindle away, and real people emerge when cosmetic facades fall and senses communicate. What we always wonder in odd looking couples, isne isme kya dekha hoga? somewhere we get an answer to such questions in the growing acceptance of the ‘cultured’ Jaya of the ‘uncouth’ Viyogi.
Maybe she even falls in love with him, though we are kept happily imagining it.
A sweet romance unfolds in front of our eyes in the fast moving two hours. And we find ourselves smiling and filling in the blanks left empty by those mildly caressing hands that touch, the palm that’s left on the cheek a tad bit longer and the angry look on the face that breaks into a smile that travels up to the lady love’s eyes.
And in the end, you want nothing more than seeing the two in a loving embrace, signaling that love conquers all, even our own prejudices.
A really sweet rom-com, Qareeb Qareeb is very qareeb to fall in the must watch category, but for its predictability and the typecast character of Irrfan. Don’t get me wrong, I can love Irrfan in ten more roles like this. But hey!! Somebody needs to show him differently. Not again, the same rough cut diamond that you would never want to own. The man is such a brilliant actor. Somebody, please make him into a character who stabs at your heart from the word go!
Don’t tell me, you need to have a chocolate face with dimples to weave that magic. Irrfan, with those intense eyes, mouthing obtuse words that mean a lot more than spoken, can be a killer dish. Just needs a great chef!