Parineeti Chopra’s amazing spontaneity and Sidharth Malhotra’s earnest performance make debutante director Vinil Mathew’s romedy a breezy watch…
Love blooming between two individuals with diagonally opposite personalities is perhaps the most exploited plot in the movie business – more so in Bollywood. But there’s no denying the fact that no other emotion makes you more empathetic, compassionate and above all, engaged, than love. If a romantic story is well told and if a narrative brings in a breath of fresh air with a hatke directorial approach, even a simple plot can stir those mushy feelings in you instantly. Adman Vinil Mathew’s directorial debut Hasee Toh Phasee does just that!
The first-time director portrays this easy-on-the-eye, sweet and otherwise predictable romantic plot with finesse. The Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra starrer banks heavily on the innocence and the freshness of the new age romance that Mathew has crafted carefully, without indulging in scenarios of lingering longing, hysteria or melodrama. In broad strokes, HTP is Abbas Tyrewal’s Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, with all its charm and frothy freshness.
Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotara) is living a highly reckless and unstable life, unable to discover what he wants to do with himself. The dude meets Meeta ( Parineeti Chopra) – a chance encounter – and sparks fly. But there is no room for love to blossom between these two complete strangers, as they part ways quickly… only to meet after seven years when Nikhil’s fiancé Karishma (Adah Sharma), who is Meeta’s sister, asks him to hide the disgrace of her family. Meeta is reintroduced to Nikhil as a drug addict, a total disgrace to Karishma’s family, a young woman who has been missing for seven long years. Meeta had stolen a huge sum of money from her own house to pursue her dreams and that resulted in her father having a massive heart attack.
A chemical engineer by profession, Meeta is fidgety and idiosyncratic, a girl who quells various sensations and uncontrolled movements in her body by popping anti-depressants. She is a complete misfit in her rich Gujarati family and therefore always on the run. Nikhil must hide Meeta before he marries Karishma.
This unusual situation creates space for Meeta and Nikhil to discover each other and they bond. While Nikhil realises that Meeta is a genius who deals with every challenging situation with practicality and a go-getter approach, Meeta finds out that Nikhil is a sweetheart who loves to help people. The man is confused and is running away from his own dreams. The two try to comfort each other and in their attempts to do so, they fall in love – and that sets this roller coaster ride going, with shaadi, baarat and cuking fraziness thrown in to the big mess!
The filmmaker clearly shows the complexities and trivialities of a coming of age love tale, where uncertainties and frivolities loom large as hurdles in making a relationship work. And yet love finds its way in, blooming between two most unlikely individuals as they discover each other’s deep emotions and insecurities. Mathew shows how love in an urban setting has no threat from outside elements or opposing forces. In fact, how inner turmoil, ambivalence and the need to know one’s own self influences that basic emotion is well portrayed.
Parineeti Chopra, as expected, has done a brilliant job. The young star is growing from strength to strength with every film. Chopra uses her body language and expressive eyes with ease and switches emotions without making her character look dramatically different, even while she displays her acting bandwidth with conviction.
Sidharth Malhotra complements the unsteadiness of Pari’s character with his solid and dishy screen presence. His good looks and honey-eyes make him ideal boyfriend material and yet he manages to convey the impishness and eccentricities of his clumsy character without going overboard.
Neena Kulkarni as Sidharth’s mother and Manoj Joshi as Parineeti’s father have done a good job. Adah Sharma plays her part with sincerity and oodles of charm, becoming the demanding girlfriend with restraint. Vinil Mathew’s direction is fine and Vishal-Shekhar’s music will leave you humming and drumming your fingers at the same time. Shake it like Shammi, Punjabi wedding song and Zehnaseeb will play on loop in your head for a while after you leave the theatre.
It is clear from the word ‘go’ that Nikhil and Meeta are made for each. From the chance encounter on, it’s a given that the two will end up together. The director propels this predictable story forward by tapping into his lead pair’s chemistry, and his experimental narration and fine direction cleverly to deliver a story that works. The plot and screenplay have their share of flaws, but the clever one-liners and subtle humour make up for disjointed sequences.
On the whole, Hasee Toh Phasee is not a perfect love story with a perfect lead pair. Vinil Mathew instead shows the quirks, flaws and goof-ups of an endearing couple in this beautifully mounted movie. Watch it if you like love stories with an awwwww inspiring climax.
Reviewed by Prathamesh Jadhav
**** Very good