Friday, December 10, 2010

'Celebrate this weekend with Band Baaja Baaraat' - Times Of India

From the patented wedding planners of Bollywood ( Yash Raj Films) comes a love story of two wedding planners which is so untraditional of the banner, sans any mush or melodrama.

That in particular sets the romance apart from the regular feel-good lot and for a pleasant change this love story is not shallow on story.

The ambitious Shruti (Anushka Sharma) with a no-nonsense attitude aspires to be a wedding planner. The aimless Bittoo (Ranveer Singh) wishes to be her partner in business. Though Shruti is initially hesitant, fate brings them together as they start their joint venture Shaadi Mubarak which turns out to be a huge success. While they start with a preset rule of not falling in pyaar for the sake of vyapaar, passion overpowers perspicacity in an intimate moment.

The practical girl falls in love. The bratty boy is bemused and mellows down. As differences crop up, they fall apart only to go their own ways and start their individual endeavours. They are no-good single-handedly until fate gives them another chance to get along as planners for one big fat great wedding.

What makes this wedding planner account engaging is that it is smartly planned in terms of its script and direction. Habib Faisal (director of Do Dooni Chaar) comes up with a well-etched screenplay comprising of real characters and defined conflicts. There is a distinctive graph to the narrative from the inset of the duo's frothy friendship, to their buildup as business partners, to cupid striking the girl, to their split up and finally the boy's realization of romance. Debutante director Maneesh Sharma gets the grammar of the romance correct and his approach to each scene is very refreshing and relatable. Even when he captures the couple in their intimate moment, it's absolutely aesthetic with no trace of titillation.

The first half works towards the rise-of-the-underdog, as the planners establish their business with middleclass marriages and upgrade it to elite weddings. But the uniqueness of the film comes out beautifully in the second half. The duo's awkwardness towards each other after their impulsive lovemaking is so subtly summarized. The cold vibes between the couple during a wedding performance, in clear contrast to their earlier chemistry, is perfectly palpable. The disputes leading to their separation seem straight out of real-life brawls. The pre-climax face-off where Shruti gives a piece of mind to Bittoo is sensible over being sentimental and very well-worded.

On the flipside the love story treads into the conventional zone with the induction of the girl's fiancée towards the end, though thankfully his presence is never felt as he remains restricted to phone-calls. Again he is conveniently cut-off from the plot in the climax, though one doesn't complain much since he was never welcome in the first place.

Habib Faisal gets the Delhi lingo in the dialogues to perfection. The art direction is demanding with a predominant wedding backdrop and the film justifies the requirement. Aseem Mishra's cinematography, Niharika Khan's costume design and Salim-Sulaiman's peppy music aptly capture the celebratory feel of the film.

The lead pair of the film share wonderful chemistry and come up with compelling performances. Anushka Sharma is brilliant in her bold and beautiful character. She looks gorgeous, is natural in her act and is exceptionally good in both lighthearted and poignant scenes. Ranveer Singh shows extra enthusiasm in the initial reels but thankfully doesn't go overboard. He puts in a confident act and has an effervescent charm. Neeraj Sood as Maqsood bhai is good.

Band Baaja Baaraat marks the celebration of good cinema.


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