Shaadi Ke Side Effects movie review: Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan charm with their parenthood woes!

Saket Chaudhary’s hilarious take on the dilemmas of being a parent (read: father) has a contradictory effect on the viewers. While the amazingly entertaining and crisp first half makes you cheerful, the clumsy second half leaves you with a nauseating feeling that comes from being pregnant!

If you are a fourth grader and above, you wouldn’t have a difficulty figuring out what Saket Chaudhary’s Shaadi Ke Side Effects is all about. Isn’t the title self-explanatory? Now that I have watched the movie, I genuinely feel that the name should have ideally been Pregnancy Ke Side Effects!

With the film’s lead characters-Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan-dealing with both pre-and-post pregnancy challenges, you don’t have to be a genius to know what the storyline can possibly offer.

But surprisingly-and then seriously surprisingly as indeed albeit shockingly-Chaudhary mounts a slice of married-life story that promises to give you a cheerful high in the first half before his earnest attempt nosedives into a bundle of clumsy subplots in the second half.

It’s as if two different individuals were heavily pregnant with two dramatically different ideas to conceive this unique brainchild. This endevour may have complicated side effects on you. So there’s no point discussing the gestation of the baby…err  the plot we mean. Instead we give you a comprehensive list of what works in this movie’S favour and what could have been easily ‘aborted’ to make it look crisper. Decide for yourself if you are all set to indulge in this baby on this weekend.

• Farhan Akhtar’s portrayal of emotionally and financially unprepared father, who is struggling to be the best parent ever, will leave you in splits. Watch him go by the book-quite literally at that endeavour -to understand and feel what a woman goes through while carrying a life in her tummy. All is good until HIS water breaks first! ( a water balloon that is!). Amazingly hilarious!

• Watch Vidya switching  priorities as she grows (ya that’s the right word- grows!) from being a woman who wants to have and enjoy sex as much as her husband does, to a hands-on, no-time-energy-or-inclination-for-sex-whatsoever mommy, will leave you rolling on the floor.

• The couple’s adventurous ‘role-play’ gimmicks to keep the fire burning in their romantic equation lead to sequences that are engaging and super funny. Watch the sizzle in their perfect marriage go for a toss when an accidental pregnancy changes the dynamics between the two-from role play to NO play! The sudden transition is perfectly enjoyable!

• The breezy one liners and poker-faced witticism are the soul of the movie. Watch the overtly observant group of health conscious parents monitoring the well-being of their tiny tots on the basis of the colour,texture and composition of their little one’s poop!! Enters our darling father Farhan and mutters matter-of-factly-“main bhi jab palak (spinach) khata hoon toh meri potty green hoti hain and if I eat corn then it gets a hint of yellow too!”…ewww, but hey, it works- it definitely does!

• The sex-and-attention deprived father comes up with innovative ideas thanks to some help from jiju Ram Kapoor to look both wanted and respected in his own family. Watching the cool dad live a double life to enjoy himself and staying top on the best parent forever chart is funny.

• While the director relies heavily on his writing to give an enjoyable plot, sadly his usage of ridiculously unrealistic instances, situations and events  mar the effectiveness of the story in the second half. The sudden switch in the tempo, texture and treatment of the film jars your eyes and kills the mood.

• Chaudhary has aptly portrayed the challenges faced by young couples once they become parents. But he goes overboard with his screenplay and becomes overindulgent with his efforts as he tries to stretch the simple plot with unwanted characters. And then he ultimately tries to expose the emotional insecurities of those supposedly-fun characters, layer by layer, in the second half. The movie then starts taking a confusing, complex turns and ultimately spirals out of control.

• To portray reality –in a most unrealistic manner-the film employs some unconvincing scenes that make you chuckle and go tch-tch with disappointment. (Spoiler ahead) From Farhan Akhtar forgetting his daughter on sides of a street side café while watching a football game  to Vidya Balan claiming that she is pregnant with a child of a next-door techie only to test if her husband is “large-hearted” to give her a second chance if ever she slips- it is scenes like these that simply kill the frothy freshness of the script.

Our verdict:

Watch Shaadi Ke Side Effects for Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan’s sparkling performances and Saket Chaudhary’s earnest attempt to tell a really different story. Surely, the movie has no dull moments to complain about, but its over-stretched plot surely kills a potentially brilliant brainchild

Rating: 3 out of 53 Star Rating

Reviewed by Prathamesh Jadhav

* Poor

** Average

*** Good

**** Very good

***** Excellent