Mayank Shekhar's review: Love, Breakups, Zindagi

By Hindustan Times

Director: Sahil Singha
Actors: Zayed Khan, Dia Mirza
Rating: **

He’s young, in his early thirties, yet already twice divorced. His father was in the ball bearing business, which as you may guess, must be a fact quite hard to grow up with. Kids at school would give him a hard time, his dad was after all the “ball bearing man.”

Now he’s single, funny, doing considerably better with a “Rs 84,000 post-tax salary.” He has his eyes on a woman (Tisca Chopra) who’s 38, teaches Urdu at a university. “In which language does she teach,” he asks! Given the prominence, you’d imagine this is probably the description of the film’s hero. It's not, though he should’ve been. He’s merely the funnyman, the lead’s buddy, with a part just a little bit shorter in length though.

The film, a romantic comedy as you can tell, surveys the rich, urban, over-dressed Indian young, where clothes are sponsored by designers Ritu Kumar and Manav Gangwani, and BMW is the sedan of choice. The setting slightly reminds you of Rajshree Ojha's Ayesha from a year ago. This one’s infinitely better. One Cyrus Sahukar cracks it at this one, as he did in that last. He plays the hilarious ball bearing man’s son.

His best buddy, the hero (Zayed Khan, ah well) has been seeing someone for a while. There’s more planning than pyar (love) in their relationship. He’s committed to the idea of being committed. Which is true for so many couples. The ones here at least profess to represent ‘people like us’, dining at the Tasting Room, hogging at China Garden. The customary Bollywood guided tour takes place over New Delhi’s Rail Museum and Mumbai’s Leopold Café, as against a fancy, foreign capital. Rules of the genre still apply; right up to an imminent climax sequence set in the airport.

Here’s how it helps to keep things relatively real still. You can tell a believable love story, beyond the tiring idea of perfect soul mates alone. “All our habits were once our choices. The choice should’ve been right,” says the mild mannered, pretty heroine (Dia Mirza), who seems excessively sensitive to touch. “What if the choices are correct, but a better option comes up,” asks the hero. Both, as it turns out, are seriously dating someone else at the point when they meet.

Which is at a wedding that lasts longer than many marriages do. This is where the funnyman and the Urdu teacher meet for the first time as well. It’s a laboriously unending weekend of playing 'pitthoo' (an outdoor game), the guitar, eating, drinking tea, wine, preparing for sangeet that should rival the Oscars for sit-down ceremonies, along with the usual “awws, woohoos” and toasts, and dancing to an ‘80s Neelam-Govinda song Apke Aa Jane Se… You’ve been to such weddings. You’d rather not go through them in real-time again. This is not even your best friend’s. There’s certainly thought in the writing. Some editing of that thought is always a good idea for a first film, or for that matter, a first anything creative.

We’re pretty much back to just the four main characters. You continue to see so much of them, knowing well, what'll happen next. The writers have little to fill the air up with; an ageing Shah Rukh Khan brought in for a cameo couldn't possibly help. “Relationships are confusing. They can be irritating. Can we expect ours to be different,” asks the hero, at some point. This is true for romantic films too. Don’t expect too much from this, and I think you’ll do just fine.

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