It’s another sweet-funny, likeable-identifiable film on offer this weekend – Bewakoofiyaan is all about PLU (people like us, Duh!). Nice, decent people with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies caught up in circumstances and situations – some manufactured; others beyond one’s control. There are no villains in the movie and at just a shade under two hours, this is a succinct enjoyable story featuring some rather likeable characters.
Rating – ***
Bewakoofiyaan – Release Date 14 march 2014
Starring – Sonam Kapoor, Aushmann Khurrana, Rishi Kapoor
Producer – Aditya Chopra,
Studio – Yash Raj Films
Director –Nupur Ashthana
Story/Screenplay – Habib Faisal
Music – Raghu Dixit, Hitesh Sonik
The film starts with the two young urban professionals getting ready for work – he is Mohit Chadhdha (Aushmann Khurrana) and she is Mayera Sehgal (Sonam Kapoor) – he picks her up on his motor bike. When she gets off, she kisses him and wishes him all the best because it is promotion day. He gets his promotion and proceeds to propose to her that same evening. All hunky dory so far.
Then we are introduced to The Father – he is V K Sehgal, Meyera’s widower, father and IAS officer on the threshold of retirement. He is the quintessential single parent, fiercely protective of his only child. So it is now the small matter of convincing this formidable old man that Mohit is the right man for his lovely daughter. Mayera organises a little outing so that the love of her life can ask for her hand in marriage formally. The little excursion to Humayun’s tomb however doesn’t go as planned.
So then we have the ‘Probation’ period where the girl’s father, who is the batch mate of the Home Secretary (V K Sehgal informs us of this several times in the movie) tests his would be son in law to examine his particulars – including personal character and criminal record.
And then disaster strikes – global recession hits the airline industry hard, and the recently promoted Mohit is unceremoniously laid off. So he finds himself in the unenviable position of having to ingratiate himself with his girl friend’s father by losing to an old man at squash while looking hard to find another job – because, you know – Mayera thought it was a good idea to lie her father about his being sacked.
It’s not a hugely original plot and story line, nor are the characters extraordinary but the treatment of the story is deft and the story flows very naturally. The conflict between the two young people is also fairly believable. I believe I’m not letting anything on by telling you that the resolution in the end is a wee bit too pat; but altogether the movie works.
The actors do full justice to their lines and situation. Ayushmann is very competent as the loving boy friend, who undergoes agonies of frustration when he loses his job and has to subsist on pocket money from his girl friend. Sonam is every inch the fashionista with her Zara and Mango clothes and her expensive shoes. The chemistry doesn’t exactly crackle, but then this is not a passionate tale.
Rishi Kapoor is a huge plus – his bluster, his crabbiness and his bumptiousness aside, his character has a core of warmth and steadfast loyalty. He someone who’s approval is hard-won but unswerving. There are some lovely touches added to the persona – he believes that that sartorial anachronism – the Safari Suit is the height of formal dressing. He cooks wonderful chicken biryani and halwa – touching reminders of a man who has lovingly and single-handedly brought up his daughter.
The movie is a several contrasts – on the one hand is the very casual Mohit, juxtaposed with the extremely elegant Sonam – whereas her career graph is on the up and up, his alas is on a downward spiral and he is just about bankrupt. Then there is the contrast of two parallel relationships: where on the one hand the primary relationship between Mohit and Mayera is seen to deteriorate, the relationship between the younger and the older man slowly improves – as they play squash together, as the younger man encourages the older man to look for another job and teaches him how to use the computer (in the process helping the feisty old man discover violent video games).
Habib Faisal’s script is characteristically skillful and emotionally satisfying. The promise of his previous work in movies such as Band Baaja Baaraat, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, Ishaqzaade and several other movies is borne out here. Nupur Asthana’s direction is crisp and competent, and this concise two hour movie never lagged or dragged.
Bewakoofiyaan – Music
At no point does the music assume centre stage; it isn’t meant to, and none of the tunes really stick in the head when all is done and dusted. In fact the songs seemed a little superfluous – two of the songs – Gulchharrey, featuring the outing at some swank location with friends (Sonam’s excuse to appear in a fetching magenta bikini) and the romantic duet Khamakha – are worthy of mention. The songs by themselves are pleasant enough, but not strictly necessary to the narrative.
All in all it’s a warm, touching tale about real, sympathetic people – whether it’s the V K Sehgal’s Sardar assistant or Imi, Mohit’s colleague and flat mate or the Mohit’s other colleagues at the café. A movie worth the watch this weekend.
By – Reena Daruwalla