Friday, December 10, 2010

Nikhat Kazmi gives 3.5/5 - Band Baaja Baaraat

The Delhi belly is being split wide open in film after film. And what a delightful smattering of colors is spilling forth as film makers try to understand what makes the Indian capital -- with its amalgam of cultures and communities -- so charismatic.

Band Baaja Baaraat works smartly as a sociological study of saddi Dilli, with moods, moments and characters that crisply capture the life on the other side of the neon lights. Like Dibakar Banerjee and Rakeysh Mehra, director Maneesh Sharma chooses to look the other way and talk about the earthy, emotional, rough-edged quintessential Dilliwala who peppers his language with street talk, doesn't believe in minding his Ps and Qs, revels in an in-your-face attitude and cocks a snook at the HS (high-society) people...Only because he thinks he ain't less than them, any which way. Bittu and Shruti are unabashedly Janakpuri types. And that is what makes them so warm and vibrant. They meet in DTC buses, gorge themselves on ice candy at India Gate and discuss `binnas' (business) plans on bread pakoras. And yes, high strung and emotional blokes that they are, they do the disco at the drop of a hat, hug tightly when things go right and fight rough when misunderstandings begin.

As long as you view Band Baaja Baaraat as a loving, heartfelt take on what makes Delhi go dhak-dhak, the film holds your attention. The screenplay and the dialogues (Habib Faisal) are spilling over with recognisable nuances and emotions. When Bittu refers to their romantic interlude as a `kaand', a mistake, you cannot help smiling. But when you begin to view the film as a new age romance, it becomes somewhat awkward and rough, primarily because the lead couple can hardly light up the screen with passion and pyaar. As they rightly lay down the rules at the very beginning: No pyar in vyapar....

Performance-wise, the duo do have a spontaneity that is disarming, specially Anushka Sharma who pitches in her best act. Watch her in the morning-after sequence when Bittu hopes she isn't the `chipkoo' types and you'll understand how she's growing as an actor. As the Janakpuri dhin-chak girl, (that's what she calls herself) she's lively and watchable. Thumbs up to all the desi, downtown girls who are grabbing attention these days. Strangely, the music score (Salim Suleiman) doesn't have much to recommend, despite the effervescence of Delhi's bhangra beats.

It may not scorch the box office and may not go down in your must-watch list. Yet Band Baajaa Baaraat engages you with its fond look at fun-loving Dilliwalas.

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