By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "Love Khichdi"; Cast: Randeep Hooda, Sadaa Sayed, Rituparna Sengupta, Divya Dutta, Riya Sen, Kalpana Pandit, Sonali Kulkarni and Jesse Randhawa; Director: Srinivas Bhashyam; Rating: **
If only "Love Khichdi" would have come to the point at least 20 minutes before it eventually does, it could have been a dish to be savoured.
In the film, Randeep Hooda meets seven different women/girls in his life and after the introduction of each one of them, it is clear who would be the one he would want to settle down with. However, that's not the point of argument here. The point here is the entire journey that the protagonists take that leads to impatience in the viewers towards the latter half.
To credit the writer-director though, he doesn't make Randeep look, act and behave like one cool stud Casanova who would sweep women off their feet. Yes, the man here does feel that he is capable of doing so but in the end, there is nothing heroic about him as he just comes across as a regular good looking man in his mid-20s.
So whether it is a much married Punjabi neighbour (Divya Dutta), a pencil thin model (Jesse Randhawa), a globe-trotting entrepreneur (Kalpana Pandit) or even his voluptuous maid (Sonali Kulkarni), he has the hots for each of one them.
Yes, he does come close to falling in love with a woman (Rituparna Sengupta) and eventually does find true love as well (in Sadaa Sayed). The only female that he avoids though is the mini skirt-wearing schoolgirl Riya Sen.
What does make "Love Khichdi" interesting at junctures is the entire 'talking to the camera' narrative that the director applies. Proving the adage 'Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus', the film shows what a man and a woman would think about the same situation.
However, a couple of tracks don't work at all. The one with Rituparna Sengupta bores every time it appears in the narrative while the one with Kalpana Pandit could have been totally chopped off.
Jesse's track lasts just one scene though one wouldn't have minded seeing more of Riya Sen. As for Sonali Kulkarni, she is there mainly to get some talk heavy portions around men and their virtues.
The track that gets the most laughs is the one with Divya Dutta. She is the life of the movie for the first half of the film as she sparkles in each of the scenes that she appears.
The film though eventually boils down to be the show reel for the lead couple - Randeep and Sadaa. Sadaa gets maximum footage out of the seven women and does complete justice to her part in her debut Bollywood venture. She is beautiful, confident and her experience in films down south shows. "Love Khichdi" is bound to get her noticed.
As for Randeep, he can rest assured that regardless of the film's fate at the box office, he would be seen in a new light from here on. He doesn't have the usual 'stud boy' role in the film and still manages to shine in most of his scenes.
Ultimately, "Love Khichdi" may not be the prefect health diet but is decent enough to be a one time watch.