Friday, December 10, 2010

Band Baaja Baaraat is easily entertaining, breezy, fresh and fun..

WHAT'S IT ABOUT: It's a tried and tested formula that works. To borrow a cliche, bring two opposites together and they're bound to attract one another, sooner rather than later.

Shruti Kakkar (Anushka) is the sorted-out middle class Dilli girl who has her future all planned out. She's a go-getter, knows what she wants and is focused on getting it. Bittu Sharma (Ranveer), on the other hand, is a roadside Romeo-type, care-a-damn yet streetwise slacker who wants to prove to his farmer dad that he can make it on his own.

Bittu decides to hitch his dreams to Shruti's wagon and offers to be the brawn to her brains. He tags along wherever she goes. Their first stop is at the 'site' of a biggie wedding planner, Chanda Ma'am. They realise just in time that the lady in question conducts her business in a not-so-honest manner. A disagreement and blame game later, Shruti walks out and Bittu follows.

They then open their own wedding planning bijnes called Shaadi Mubarak. They get a gang together -- a flower decorator and a caterer -- and start work. They begin small, with galli mein shaadis moving on to flashier clients simply by word-of-mouth.

One successful big wedding later, they have a private party at their dukaan. The two, who now share a close friendship pop champagne, dance, get drunk and make love. The next morning, she's in love. He's just freaked that she is.

Why? Remember how Shruti had a one-track career plan? Can't mix business and love, goes her oft-repeated line. Bittu forgot that under that 'independent' 'no-nonsense' exterior was a girl who wanted to be treated like a guy should treat her. The boy calling their special night together, a 'kaand' and a 'mistake' breaks her heart.

She steels herself but finds herself unable to keep their personal and professional equations apart. She decides to write him out of the business and a nasty separation follows.

They become competitors with little or no individual success. In the end, it takes a hotel magnate's pre-condition to get them to come together. Work together on his only daughter's wedding and there's a crore-full bounty. If not, their lives can only go from bad to worse with creditors milling around their shops.

They take up the offer after much persuasion by common friends and get to work. Will they find it within them to work together as partners again?

What's hot: Debutant director Maneesh Sharma brings Delhi alive like few filmmakers have in recent years. His confidence with his craft shows. And if you wonder why Dilli seems more familiar and apna-sa than ever? It's because Habib Faisal (the Do Dooni Chaar director co-writes). Despite the loud, garish overtones (that's why we call them big fat Indian weddings, no?), the film's feel never grates. The script is mostly fluid with the rare weak moments but what really holds up the two-hour flick are its lead pair. For someone who's two films old (Anushka) and a debutant (Ranveer) to entertain with josh and a fervent energy without a single big name in any frame calls for appreciation. Also, the score by Salim-Sulaiman is mostly phatte!

What's not: You see it coming a mile away. They squabble, work together, part ways, come together and eventually marry. But I wonder ¦ why is Bittu non-committal in the first place? I'm scared of hurting her, he says. So he does care. She doesn't then she does. But does Bittu have to be browbeaten into saying yes to love and later, marriage? Also, one would've appreciated a little variety in the weddings shown. No Christian weddings, kya? Couldn't there be a different twist to the usual white wedding? Also, does dhaba food count for all catering. We are never told if the jovial Sardarji is adept at other cuisines.

What to do: Go watch it. It's easily entertaining, breezy, fresh and fun. Watch it simply for the vibrant energy it exudes.

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