My Rating ****
For a while now, we’ve been scoffing at ‘Pappu’ because he can’t dance, saala. We’ve also sung along, soothing her by explaining ‘Kabhi kabhi zindagi mein Aditi…’ And we finally get to see Aditi and her gang on screen.
Aditi a.k.a Meaow and Jai a.k.a Rats (Imran Khan) are best buddies. It’s plain for everyone around them to see that they are much more than just that and are made for each other. Everyone, except they themselves. And when it is pointed out by friends and their respective parents, they laugh it off because Aditi dreams of marrying a ‘stud’, someone who is tough and aggressive, completely unlike how Jai is. And Jai dreams of marrying a soft romantic girl, completely unlike what Aditi is.
So after making up their minds that they don’t wish to marry each other they promise to find the desired mates for the other. As they are pointing out various prospectives to each other at a disco Jai spots a girl and it is love at first sight for him. Watching him falling in love with Meghna (Manjari Fadnis) releases dormant feelings that Aditi was so far unaware of. And she goes ahead and gets engaged. Its only when they see each other with their partners do they realize that they actually feel far more than friendship for the other.
Imran Khan is a find! He rocks, and how! He rightfully fills the young, chocolate-boy slot that has been laying vacant for a while now. A natural in front of the camera, the fleeting scenes where his inexperience shows fit beautifully into the script and his character. He is confident; immensely talented and it was such a relief to see a fresh faced, normal and causally clothed hero who is such a change from the ripped bodies, chiseled faces, perfectly teased and moussed locks and designer - clothed debutant heroes we’ve had so far.
Genelia is pretty, sparkling, very spontaneous and livens up each shot. Just wished she had polished her Hindi and diction, though.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Jayant Kriplani and Anuradha Patel, on screen after so long, playing Aditi’s parents.
Ratna Pathak Shah playing Jai’s widowed Mum is a sheer delight and Naseeruddin Shah playing Jai’s dead father (tacked to the wall, in photo frame no less!) makes you guffaw with his clever lines.
The fresh faced youngsters who play Jai and Aditi’s friends are an immensely cute bunch, with a special mention to ‘Jiggy’.
Very interesting cameos by Pratiek Babbar ( Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son) who though slightly awkward, has a laced with wit part, making you smile each time he comes on screen.
And Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan’s amusing sudden appearances make you guffaw and wish they stayed on for a wee bit longer.
For a debut directorial effort, Abbas Tyrewala has done a good job. And he has the potential to improve with each future project.
The plot is nothing new and liberally dotted with clichés. What makes this film work is the brilliant casting, well-etched characters, controlled and effortless performances, believable and identifiable circumstances and the screenplay that keeps coming up with something surprising each time you think you interest might wane. With immensely hum able music (A R Rehman) and catchy lyrics (Abbas Tyrewala) adding to its charm.
My very own Rating Chart
* I want my money back + a fully booked and paid 3 month trip to _________(please fill in a destination of choice)
** I don’t want my money back even though I didn’t like the movie, but director/producer may please pay for my popcorn/samosa/parking.
*** Time and money both well spent!
**** Loved it!
***** Whistle, clap, even smile at irritating neighbor-who-kept-talking-on-cell phone, queue up to buy tickets again and extol virtues of the movie.