Yash Raj films have been known to produce romantic movies and musicals and NRI romances and wedding videos in the name of films since last few years. Since the advent of DDLJ some 15 years ago it has been doing so and it has been searching for its next DDLJ ever since. Exceptions to this theme have been far and few. Somehow in these last 15 years they have been making the same film over and over with different variations, stars and music. It was relying too much on big shot stars, big directors, big music to make their movies sail through which did work few times but bombed most times. The unreal world of YRF films was crashing and they were not realizing that. The premier bollywood studio, which once never failed at box office, was giving duds after duds and was considered no longer the same powerful studio it once was.
With Band Baaja Baraat, they have managed to break few shackles. The film is a surprise for everybody including I think the bosses of YRF. To begin with the film is set in middle class Delhi and not London or New York. The characters and settings of the film are real, believable and that is a welcome change from Raj and Rahuls we are used to see. The film has a definite story and a decent plot line moving the story. Above all the film has two really good actors who fit the roles perfectly. The movie is a model on a how a romantic comedy needs to be made.
The story is simple and is about a middle class Delhi girl and a roadside Delhi romeo coming togather as business partners as wedding planners. Their meeting is accidental however they join forces together to launch ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ a wedding planning agency set in middle class Janakpuri of Delhi. The initial part of film is breezy and takes you from one wedding to another and slow and steady rise of the duo’s company and making even the simplest of wedding as grand and memorable. The company grows and so does the dreams and the leads graduate from middle class low budget weddings to high society ‘farmhouse’ weddings as they call it in Delhi where budgets run in crores. They succeed with their zeal for hard work, honesty and dedication. Till about the midpoint of the film when the conflict arises the film is real fast moving. The conflict point is not a villain or money or fights but strangely it is love. The romantic scenes and the love scenes are done in a very non-conventional way, which makes it look and feel real.When the leads fall in love they break the first rule of their ‘binness’ that to ‘never fall in love with your business partner’. The 2nd half is bit slow as compared to the first and some of the things are quire predictable but still fun to watch. The fights, tantrums and problems which arises from the conflict continue right till the end where of course like true YRF style the leads make up and everything is hunky dory. The finale seems bit stretched but you never feel bored. Do not miss the end credits.
In spite of certain predictive nature of the story it makes you watch it and enjoy mainly because of real life situations, some original hilarious scenes, smartest dialogues you’ll see, wonderful and breezy direction, superb production values with an eye to detailing you are not used to see in mainstream Hindi movies and on top of all the 2 leading actors. Anushka Sharma as ‘Shrutti Kakkad’ lives the character like she was born to do this. Its her third film, incidentally all 3 with YRF, and she is a revelation as an actress. She is uninhibited, can act well, dance like a breeze in most natural way and makes you feel for her in emotional scenes. Of course the real surprise packet is new boy Ranveer Singh as ‘Bittoo Sharma’. The guy is unconventional in looks but is a sheer delight to watch on screen. His dialogue delivery, sense of comic timing, dancing and acting skills make you root for his slightly roguish but innocent character. He is the true blue Delhi boy we have been looking for. This certainly is a dream debut for him in a role tailor made for him and I wont be surprised if he wins the best debut actor prizes in most award ceremonies next year.
Before the film released when I saw the promos I didn’t think much of the new actor with his unconventional look but I have to say that I was wrong and I shouldn’t have been prejudiced. Incidentally last time I was prejudiced and then later changed my mind after a film released was during ‘Kaho na Pyaar Hai’ almost a decade ago !!
The film is a true representation of what North Indian weddings and the debut-ant director Maneesh Sharma has captured the true essence of both middle class and high society Delhi. Special mention to dialogues by Habib Faisal for capturing the Hindi tone and words that only Delhites would use. This is the kind of original earthy writing and detailing which has been missing from many of our recent films. The supporting actors are cast so well that they do not look like actors but straight out of a Delhi colony. The music by Salim-Suleimaan is apt and the numbers are foot tapping and makes you want to dance in the aisle. ”Ainvayi Ainvayi’ is for the song of the year and will be a surefire hit in every wedding from now on.
The film is made in very moderate budget and most of the money has already been recovered from Satellite an Music rights so whatever the film earns from box office is a bonus for the producers. The movie surely worked for me and we enjoyed the late night show in middle of a working week and were surprised to find the hall almost full. Nothing works like word of mouth publicity and positive critic reviews.
My Ratings – 9/10 for the sheer North Indian energy and the lead actors. Best rom-com of the year.
P.S. My only worry is that after the success of this film YRF has got enough money now to make few more Uday Chopra films !!!