CAST & CREW
Live in relationships though not fully a taboo in Bollywood movies have mostly been portrayed in patches juxtaposed between the main themes. Perhaps “ Salaam Namaste” was the path breaker on this and “ Shuddh Desi Romance” is the next one in line. But as times and social mores have moved pretty fast after that, “SDR” is more open, especially in its scripting, and therefore, more easily acceptable for the relationship it professes.
Plot: Neither is he Dev Anand nor is he Raju guide, but coincidentally Sushant Singh Rajput portraying Raghu Ram, the central character of this film, also happens to be a tourist guide in Jaipur. Strangely, however, in a comic sort of variation, he also serves as a part-time baraati for a marriage planner called Goyal played by Rishi Kapoor. For his own marriage, however, he comes across another “dummy” baraati in the form of Gayatri (enacted by Parineeti Chopra), with whom he falls in love. Being independent minded and disgusted with these fake roles, she elopes with Raghu, with the latter chucking his own arranged marriage in the process. They gradually enter into a live-in relationship, having lost respect for formal marriages probably out of their fake roles in marriages.
Things, however, do not exactly go in a hunky-dory fashion, as having planned to get married to Gayatri, Raghu finds her missing on the marriage day. Through a strange coincidence, soon after this setback, Raghu meets Tara (depicted by Vaani Kapoor), the girl he was originally supposed to marry and from whom he had run away with Gayatri. In a reverse twist now, once Raghu gets reconciled to marrying Tara, he gets to meet Gayatri once again, and finally is made to realise by Goyal that he is indeed in love with Gayatri. The final scene shows them in each other’s company but deciding to continue in a live-in-relationship, cocking a snook at formal marriage as had been their won't!
Sushant Singh Rajput once again scores in this his second film with a performance that at once seems spontaneous as well as innocent, being carried away by the openness of the female protagonists. Parineeti Chopra too has aptly brought out the nuances her character of an open minded but seriously analytical girl who is bold enough to stick to her beliefs. Vaani Kapoor, however, is handicapped due to the improper development of her character in the film. The rest of the screen play and story as developed by Jaideep Sahni have captured the feelings of the gen-next plus quite admirably. Director Maneesh Sharma seems moving from strength to strength after his award-winning directorial debut with “ Band Baaja Baaraat”, and almost creating a genre of his own, with films primarily dealing with the gen next. Mention needs also to be made about Sachin Jigar’s music, which adds to the Rajasthani settings with flavours of Rajasthani folk music clearly discernible in their compositions. The colourful Rajasthani landscape and characters are equally well captured by cinematographer Manu Anand. The film has a “couldn’t care less” attitude towards societal norms, but has been handled in a light-hearted manner, capturing accurately the mindset of the current generation of youth.
Verdict: This is a film that can be seen both for its enjoyment value as well as for the boldness of its theme.
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