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Movie Review: 'Shuddh Desi Romance'

This is one of those rare, precious Bollywood films when the writer shines through. With this film, the much dependable Jaideep Sahni asks an immensely relevant question – is marriage an outdated institution? …and Maneesh Sharma gives it his characteristic earthy, rooted to the ground, delightful treatment.

'Shuddh Desi Romance' review
'Shuddh Desi Romance' 

Set in Jaipur, the film is about commitment-phobic Raghu Ram (Sushant Singh Rajput) a guide, salesman and part of Tauji’s (Rishi Kapoor) fake baaaraat for weddings. Raghu is easy to fall in love but confused as hell about the responsibilities that go with it. As chance would have it, on his way to his own wedding which he is not too sure of, he meets a hired ‘sister’ Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra) and decides to promptly fall in love with her. Complications arise soon after and Raghu finds himself caught between his would-have-been bride Tara (Vaani Kapoor) and Gayatri. Gayatri has serious trust issues as she has had some bad experiences in the past.

The best thing about this film is that ‘love’ between a man and woman is not taken too seriously as Bollywood is generally guilty of doing. When Raghu tries wooing Gayatri and when finally lands up in her house and between the sheets with her, it seems the most natural thing to happen, without the usual shenanigans that are attached to such every day happenings. From the moment the film opens to the interval (bathroom break, the filmmaker preferred calling it, you will know why when you watch it), the romance and the sizzling chemistry between Sushant and Parineeti keeps you hooked, and keeps you smiling and pining for more.

While Sushant is a natural, it is Parineeti who steals hearts from the first moment she is spotted on the screen. This immensely talented actress is so comfortable in the role that seems tailor-made for her. While Vaani makes a decent debut, Rishi Kapoor as the portly Tauji, who advocates marriage to keep his business going, stands out with a brilliant performance.

However, everything is not hunky-dory with what seems like a perfectly smooth relationship between Raghu and Gayatri and this film. After the interval, the film dips quite a bit as Raghu starts romancing Tara, with Gayatri out of the scene. At one point Raghu’s character seems so shallow and confused that you are not sure what really is the point of this film. Is it about a man who loves his woman but is not ready for commitment or is it about a cad who doesn’t mind entertaining any woman who is hot enough and ready to fall for him.

But overall, a fun-ride. Watch it for Parineeti and Jaideep Sahni. This kind of acting and writing need to be encouraged. And yes, thank you Sahni. Only someone of your calibre could present the leading lady as someone who smokes, drinks, has a past, in short is normal, without being under pressure to offer any kind of justification.

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