Movie: Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar
Mumbai Saga Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat
Mumbai Saga Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Where to Watch: In theatres
In a short career (though he began in 2006, he's hitherto directed just six feature films),
Dibakar Banerjee has given Bollywood some of its finest works of cinema. Khosla Ka Ghosla, Shanghai, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy have already been adorned as classics by several cinephiles, renowned critics as also many Hindi movie-buffs, while his others works like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Love Sex Aur Dhokha as also his shorts in Bombay Talkies and Lust Stories have all been very well received. Now, six years after his last full-length directorial, Dibakar Banerjee is back with, coincidentally, his sixth feature film, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, starring Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor. Does it match up to his erstwhile efforts? Sadly, the plain and simple response is that it doesn't even come close. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is worth the trip to the theatre? Scroll down for my full The Courier review...
What's it about
Revolving around the surge in bank scams and gullible, elderly people who're victimised by it, especially those from small towns and rural areas; Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar focuses on astute banker Sandeep Walia aka Sandy (Parineeti Chopra) and suspended Haryanvi cop Satinder Dahiya aka Pinky (Arjun Kapoor), whose paths cross after she absconds from her job as her former boss is hot on her trails, and how they attempt to make a big whack before crossing to safe haven over the Nepal border.
Check out the Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar trailer here... VIDEO
Parineeti Chopra is the one major saving grace of Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, delivering a top performance in a long time, possibly her best since
Hasee Toh Phasee. Two scenes in particular, one during a shady transaction inside a bank manager's cabin and the other, after she breaks down, following an inconsolable loss, make you wonder what happens to her sometimes or is it that a really good Director is needed to extract her dormant talent. Neena Gupta also expectedly shines, whenever she gets a chance, too, that is, and Anil Mehta's cinematography is so good that at times, it assumes a small-town character all of its own — a blessing whenever the direction and pace becomes nigh unbearably tedious.
Remove Parineeti Chopra and Anil Mehta's camerawork from Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and the film would fall absolutely flat. This is either Director Dibakar Banerjee's worst till date or else it's been hacked and butchered on the editing table by Bakul Baljeet Matiyani and Paramita Ghosh and probably a few others who we'd never know of on account of the movie being stuck in the doldrums for over two years. Perhaps that would explain the painstakingly slow pace, liable to put the most upbeat individual to sleep for hours on end.
The problems don't stop there, with the narrative touching on several points and trying to be everything from a heist film to a feminist tale to a human dram and even a story of the heartland, but never coming together as a whole, ending up no more than a hodgepodge of everything. Making matters worse is Arjun Kapoor failing to match up to an ounce of Parineeti's layers and depth, sucking dry whatever chemistry they may have shared, and begging the question if this is the same pair that sizzled together in Ishaqzaade, in now what seems like a galaxy far, far away. A great actor like
Jaideep Ahlawat is also utterly wasted in an underdeveloped part and Raghubir Yadav's schtick is frankly looking old and dried now. Even the background score is quite dull as if to seal the deal. BL Verdict
If you really want to watch naive small-town folk getting swindled by unconscientious swindlers with banking and scamming knowledge, then Jamtara on Netflix is a far better option. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar sheds too less light on the actial scam, and muddles things further by touching on many things, but conveying very little about each of them. I'm going with 2.5/5 stars.
2.5 out of 5
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