Star Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
What’s Good: Sandeep & Pinky, i.e. Parineeti & Arjun, they just surrender themselves to Banerjee’s vision as he shapes both of them resulting in two very subtle performances
What’s Bad: Despite treating certain scenes with ‘boldness’, Banerjee fails to explain the reason behind taking these bold steps. Parineeti undressing herself to pee, Arjun cleaning away Parineeti’s vaginal blood could’ve been more impactful if there had been a proper build-up to them
Loo Break: You’ll either watch it till the end or skip it the moment it bores you
Watch or Not?: If you’ve been a fan of Banerjee’s previous body of work, you’ll not feel much uncomfortable settling in here
“Which girl would you like to pick up in a club, the one wearing lipstick or the one without it? I’d pick up the one without because she’s not there with the plan of sleeping with someone” this conversation between two guys in a car intriguingly starts the film. The next thing we know, Pinky (Arjun Kapoor) from Haryana Police is at a hotel to escort a famous banker Sandeep Kair aka Sandy Walia (Parineeti Chopra).
She was waiting for her friend-cum-boss, who sends Pinky to drive her to him. After a plot twist, they both justify the title of the film and try to escape to Nepal, leaving a big banking scam behind. Is their story connected to each other, or are they two different people with different stories? That’s what the story tries to balance it with the mystery of Sandy running from the ghosts of her past.
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Movie Review: Script Analysis
When you’ve names like Dibakar Banerjee and Varun Grover penning a story, there’s a specific set of expectations you set, but as Arjun’s Pinky says in the film, “expectations = frustration.” More than frustrated, it’s sad to see a story with such a vast potential backed by a talented bunch of people with some solid performances going down in vain. Dibakar falls into his own trap as he pens down an extremely scattered story, which touches and leave many vital points underdeveloped. He rushes things to make you see this bleak world through Sandeep & Pinky’s eyes. Despite clocking a little over 2 hours, some tracks are left unattended after opening them.
Pari’s Pinky is pregnant with her boss’ baby. From the first frame, Banerjee makes sure to lay the base of how shit*y her boss is and how she’s too emotionally attached to the baby in her. That’s a great start, but over the way, Banerjee almost makes you forget that she’s pregnant. Why? If you have a dramatic outburst planned in the latter half of the film, why not keep building that arc alongside your usual story? That’s just one example, and I can already think of three on the top of my mind.
The screenplay is penned in a way that you’ll have too many questions regarding what’s happening sooner than you can figure things out, but are the queries worthy of investing your thoughts about? Well, that’s where the problems start to build up. Wrapping up the whole story to question society’s centuries-old patriarchal mindset is an excellent idea on paper, and I can totally see Dibakar nailing this concept. But, unfortunately, this promising plot is standing on the shaky legs of its rambling execution. The story needed more meat, and it required the ‘Banerjee house of humour’ to make it stand out. This should’ve taken the route Anurag Basu took with Ludo or what Sriram Raghavan did with Andhadhun. It’s never too dark, it’s never too funny; what it is, is an awkward middle child of both these genres.
From bracelet to ‘bhai jaise biceps chahiye’, there are so many Salman Khan references that they have styled Jaideep Ahlawat with the Tere Naam hairstyle.
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Movie Review: Star Performance
Absolutely loved Parineeti Chopra in the film. Back to back two (after The Girl On The Train) noteworthy performances, as she continues to be SUPARineeti. If I take Hasee Toh Phasee as her benchmark film, these two come really close to match that. This is the Parineeti her fans were waiting for.
For me, Arjun Kapoor has been Aurangzeb & 2 States till now, but the way Dibakar explores this unplumbed, uncharted side of him deserves to be talked about. The efforts are visible throughout, putting up a truthful performance. From the dialect to the physical attributes of staying stern all the time, Arjun could’ve easily ruined this, but he doesn’t. The ‘two good to be true’ factor also applies to Arjun as well. I adored his efforts in Panipat & he has continued to give all in.
Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat – three stellar performers but not enough dough to prove their prowess. This left me low-key sad for Neena ma’am, as she can do a role like this while sleepwalking. Raghubir sir gets the notes right of his character but doesn’t have enough moments to cement his space in the narrative.
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Movie Review: Direction, Music
There’s always a sense of excitement around a Dibakar Banerjee film & despite a bleh trailer; I still had hopes alive because in DB, we trust. The director in him still experimenting with the panning-in-air camera angles; it’s the writer in him creating the mess. If only he would’ve avoided falling into his own trap, adding some ‘Oye Lucky… Khosla Ka Ghosla…’ brand of humour, it could’ve been this year’s Ludo.
Dibakar Banerjee’s all-new role in this film was also of providing the background score, which is quite decent. Neither too loud nor to artsy, Banerjee finds a proper balance to keep it subtle. But the sound mixing is so poorly done & many of the crucial dialogues are distorted by the background score. I’ve checked with other few journalists as well & the issue was common to all of them. So, something is undoubtedly wrong. Thankfully there aren’t much songs apart from one for Salman Khan fans (Arjun is a live wire dancing on that song, loved it).
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done; this is a classic case of lost opportunity for not only the director but also for us as the audience. If executed well, this could have attracted the multiplex audience under the disguise of a film for the masses. Good for the leading actors, ho-hum for the audience!
Two and a half stars!
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Trailer
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar releases on 19th March, 2021.
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