Genre: Romantic Comedy
Director: Siddharth Anand
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, Minnisha Lamba
Storyline: When a heartbreaker falls in love…
Bottomline: A rocking first half and jarring mellow drama in the second
What a fun ride Bachna is, especially in the beginning when it makes you fall in love with the Swiss Alps all over again, reworking the magic of Dilwale Dulhaniya, playfully poking fun at the romanticism of Yash Raj Films before slapping you with a twist and genuinely fun moments even when the hero is being a jerk.
If only that wicked mood was maintained till the very end.
Instead, Bachna becomes a soppy sober story of redemption and half-baked drama. There’s nothing wrong with the idea or intent of making us feel sorry for the heartbreaker looking to make amends after a heart-break by visiting his ex-girlfriends but why lose the irreverence?
We know he’s trying to repent. He doesn’t have to wear a sad puppy look and go all sober for the entire second half of the movie just to keep reinforcing that.
That’s where you wish Siddharth Anand took his cue from the comedy series ‘My Name is Earl’ than Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Broken Flowers.’ Now, ‘My Name is Earl’ is a laugh out loud series of adventures of a jerk trying to make amends. Yes, Earl is sorry and earnest but he does not go around doing these like he’s dying of cancer.
The graveness in portrayal and gravity of emotion looms large over the second half that it kills the mood set in the first. First, there are back-to-back songs – a sure-fire pace killer and then, the director desperately tries to make us laugh with a Devil wears Gucci episode where the jerk is punished with the most humiliating tasks. The poor boy is forced to tie the lace for Her Hotness’s backless dress and then the evil woman pushes him into a swimming pool full of girls in bikinis who sit on his head. What a horrible life, indeed.
Contrastingly, the first half seems much more sincere, even if we are forced to believe that Miss Lamba is 17 and Ranbir is only ‘atthara saal ka’. Because, whether it is an innocent Raj pretending his bike has no fuel so that he can spend more time with the girl or whether it is a more grown up meticulous Raj trying to come up with reasons that will make the girl dump him, these are situations you can relate to. We all know people like that. The writing lifts these moments and the light-hearted mood this film deserves by a few notches.
Yes, like in Salaam Namaste, Siddharth Anand manages to break a few stereotypes (whether it is the live-in girlfriend who isn’t really doing it for casual sex and is serious and committed about the relationship enough to plan a wedding or the taxi-driving independent woman who asks him a few questions he has no answers for), but like his other films, this one too is derived from Hollywood’s brand of rom-coms.
Ranbir should lose those pink lips if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Or try a brown shade of lipstick if he must. But for that, he does a hell of a job showing us he is capable of carrying a movie on his shoulders, without having to flash at the drop of a towel.
Bipasha has the meatiest of the roles and she bites into it with relish, making you instantly hungry with her presence. Minnisha may have been done in by puffy eyes but she’s a looker all right. You can’t help but wish Minnisha and Deepika had exchanged roles. We wouldn’t have had a problem believing Deepika is 17 and Minnisha’s tired look would’ve been explained by the fact that she does an MBA by the day and drives a taxi by night.
With a rocking soundtrack, picturesque locations and beautiful people, this candyfloss entertainer has surprising doses of realism and that’s exactly why this has to be among the better products Yash Raj Films has given us in recent times.