This time it is Bela Sehgal’s Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. Her love story ruminates on bras and panties but with delightful humour. Shirin walks into Tem Tem lingerie shop and asks for 38D, salesman Farhad recommends that 36C would be more suited to her size instead. And there starts the love story of the century, at least by Parsi standards.
An old man keeps writing letters to his ladylove Indira Gandhi, a trigger happy young man walks around with an old gun shooting at the slightest provocation, and a longtime patient wakes up from coma to ask for Mangola. That they are Parsis goes without saying. In the middle of all this mayhem and madness is a warm fuzzy romance between longtime singletons Farhad Pastakia, lingerie salesman and Shirin Fuggawala, officebearer of the Parsi General Trust. Well, Farhad proposes, mumma disposes and that’s that!
What is worse? Not finding someone to marry or finding that special someone and not being able to marry her? Only Farhad can tell. For a story about two mature adults in their mid-40s, Shirin-Farhad manages to be breezy, unconventional and thoroughly Parsi. Enema and paad (fart) problems are discussed with avid enthusiasm, and old good-natured sex jokes (Iska murga jaag gaya-type) abound.
Bela infuses her characters with charm and irreverence and brings together an eccentric but endearing ensemble cast. Daisy Irani and Shammi make a novel pair of interfering matriarchs. Of course, it helps that the beautiful Mr Irani plays lead. Boman’s so natural with his Farhad the slope of his shoulder, the belly jiggle that he wins our approval even before he does Shirin’s.
Surprisingly Farah seems quite awkward with her lines. Her Shirin seems a little reserved in comparison. It is this lack of balance that marks the biggest drawback of the film. The second is the lack of imaginative filming and storytelling; with a wee bit style, most of the scenes could have been much zanier. The songs seem totally dispensable, although the spoof on Bollywood’s famous song sequences, especially referring to Farah’s filmography as a choreographer, is a pleasant touch. Shirin-Farhad has the cheer and the charm, but it just stops short of being a laugh riot.