The title, the posters and the ‘Drama Queen’ song all indicate froth, pep and masti. But Hasee Toh Phasee is none of these. While placed in the rom-com genre, which essentially is a quick paced barrel of fun, laughter and typical romantic and/or touching moments, this one is mostly a character driven film.
Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) and Nikhil (Siddhrath Malhotra) are the main protagonists. Neither is a run-of-the-mill character. We are first introduced to the child Meeta, who has achieved the impossible trick of locking her house from the inside while being on the outside and is being beaten up by her mother while her sisters look on – and her father comes to her rescue. A lovely establishing of the father-daughter relationship without use of dialogues or drama is achieved here. The child Nikhil is established as a smart fixer getting himself into trouble and tripping around it.
Review: Hasee Toh Phasee won me over. Here’s why: http://t.co/157zUj3bFQ
— Sukanya Verma (@SukanyaVerma) February 7, 2014
Further in the Plot
Next is a quick meeting between the two 18 years from their first introduction. She is jammed, he helps her, they engage in a flight of fancy conversation around cricket and then part.
Seven years later, Nikhil is marrying Karishma (Adah) and is in the throes of the wedding with her. Karishma breaks off with Nikhil at the drop of a hat, but he chooses to chase her and stay together – because he is a long-term kind of guy. Nikhil is an interesting mix of the wild (in a family of IFS, IPS, IAS etc., he is a struggling entrepreneur) and the staid (he sticks to his commitment to Karishma though he doesn’t think it is a perfect match; he supports her through seven years of her struggle and suchlike). All in all, he is a nice guy who takes responsibility and sees it through. A guy you can count on. As a part of this counting on him, Karishma asks him to take care of her unexpected (and clearly unwelcome) eccentric guest, Meeta. Karishma basically offloads a girl who doesn’t seem all there on her fiancée and is off. Nikhil tries to find a hotel for Meeta to stay in, is told of a guest house and sends her there. In the ceremony in the evening he learns that Meeta is actually Karishma’s sister. A black sheep who had stolen money and run away during the wedding of another sister – the meeting between the two seven years ago was Meeta running away. Karishma couldn’t care less about Meeta, calls her a drug addict and just wants to hide her and keep her away from the wedding.
The goodness in Nikhil kicks in. He cares. He goes to rescue Meeta from the extremely dingy guest house and takes her to his own home. He offers her kindness and support. He offers her humaneness and tenderness – things that she has only ever got from her father. She brings into Nikhil faith in himself. They are drawn towards each other.
Performance and Review
— Firstpost (@firstpostin) February 7, 2014
Meeta’s vulnerability, barely hidden behind her pill-induced bravado, is heart-rending. Her aching loneliness filled with a fistful of anti-depressants is agonising. Meeta is what makes this film special – and Parineeti has essayed Meeta – no, she has lived her role such that Meeta reaches beyond the screen straight to the unknown tear ducts in you. Siddharth Malhotra is confident and convincing in his portrayal of Nikhil. Hasee Toh Phasee is semi-emotionally dark, semi-romantic comedy, semi-family, semi-art, semi-commercial and wholly sensitive. Not a weekend romp but not quickly forgettable either.
By Sujata Garimella