Years ago, Karan Johar made a film with a tag-line that went: “It’s all about loving your parents,” a line that went on to be made fun of in popular culture (Remember Ram Gopal Varma’s dig in Company: “It’s all about loving your lovings”) given the sheer corniness of it all.
Finally, Karan Johar comes of age and seems to have made that film (even if he only produced it) that’s more honest to that tag-line. The love story that really works and gives Wake Up Sid its emotional integrity is not the one involving the hero and the leading lady, but the one involving him and his parents.
“Shut up, Mom,” slacker Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) blasts his Mom (Supriya Pathak), remains unapologetic about it when confronted by his Dad (Anupam Kher) and storms out of his house halfway into the film.
That’s the scene when the central conflict plays out and yet it never even remotely feels like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Not even when he meets them later with remorse. No trace of melodrama.
Yes, Johar did show progress by producing the delightfully subversive homosexual-embracing Kal Ho Na Ho and Dostana reducing the drama quotient in his films gradually but let’s face it, those were still larger-than-life yuppy comedies cloaked in designer-wear.
We have to admit there’s still a tinge of that exaggeration in Wake Up Sid when director Ayan Mukerji magically transforms a cobweb-infested flat into a stylishly-furnished studio apartment over a musical montage but the rest of this light-hearted coming-of-age romance drama is decidedly more Farhan Akhtar than Karan Johar.
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