Star cast: Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma.
Plot: Anushka and Ranveer start the business of wedding planning. They prosper, then fight, then split. Anushka Sharma loves Ranveer but doesn’t express her love. Does Ranveer love Anushka?
What’s Good: The first half; the dialogues; the music; the acting of the two lead players.
What’s Bad: The second half; absence of emotions.
Verdict: Band Baaja Baaraat could’ve worked if the second half was interesting. But given the weak post-interval portion on the one hand and the poor start on the other, its chances at the box-office are almost nil.
Loo break: Not really.
Yash Raj Films’ Band Baaja Baaraat is the story of two friends, Bittoo Sharma (Ranveer Singh) and Shruti Kakkar (Anushka Sharma), who start a business of wedding planning in partnership. Making humble beginnings, they graduate to bigger weddings and soon, their company, Shaadi Mubarak, becomes a name to reckon with.
Shruti is very particular about the fact that theirs is only a work-related partnership as she doesn’t believe in love, romance and the like.Their busy work schedules see them spending a good part of their working hours in each other’s company. One day, Shruti stays back in the office with Bittoo and the two get physical. Scared that Shruti would be unforgiving, Bittoo doesn’t know what to do. However, Shruti has fallen in love with Bittoo. But she wants to test Bittoo – whether he also loves her. Bittoo fears losing his partnership and so does not express his love for her. Instead, he is relieved when Shruti tells him, she is prepared to forget what happened between them, and move ahead in their business. Bittoo agrees because he is not aware that Shruti loves him.
Seeing Bittoo’s casual attitude,Shruti feels frustrated. Tensions between Shruti and Bittoo build up and ultimately lead to the partnership being dissolved. Bittoo now starts his own business of wedding planning even as Shruti continues as the owner of Shaadi Mubarak. Both of them fail in their respective businesses as they are both incomplete without the other. Their employees try to bring the two of them together but both are adamant.
Then, a rich industrialist, Sidhwani (Manish Chaudhry), calls both of them to jointly plan the wedding of his daughter. They refuse to join forces but give in ultimately. While planning this wedding, they realise how good they are together. Bittoo also learns that Shruti is to get married to one Chetan and then settle down with her husband inDubai. He confronts Shruti and asks her if she was getting married to Chetan only to spite him. He pleads with her to not marry Chetan as that would also jeopardise their newly-revived business. Does Shruti heed Bittoo’s advice? Does Bittoo understand Shruti’s feelings for him?
Story and Screenplay
Maneesh Sharma’s story is quite alright but Habib Faisal’s screenplay doesn’t quite do justice to it. The first half of the film is light and fairly entertaining. However, the post-interval portion is not as engrossing if only because the screenplay fails to bring out the true feelings and fears of both, Bittoo and Shruti.
Bittoo misunderstands Shruti because she had made it clear to him that business and love were separate issues. But why does he not realise that Shruti, of her own free will, had agreed to get physical with him – after telling him that love be kept separate from business? Any other man in Bittoo’s place would’ve opted for trying to convince Shruti of his love for her, but Bittoo chooses the other path – that of running away from the relationship. Why? The only answer the viewer can think of is because the writer wanted to add the twist of a breakup in the relationship, in the drama. In other words, Bittoo’s stand looks contrived rather than in the natural flow of things. It is this twist in the tale which keeps troubling the viewer all through the second half, making the post-interval portion less palatable.
Bittoo’s explanations in the end, about why he did not carry on with the relationship after their physical relationship, don’t ring true for the same reason. Had he tried to give the relationship a chance to grow, and then backtracked for a more plausible reason, the drama after interval would also have appealed to the audience. Even otherwise, the portions when both of them fail in their respective businesses are not engaging enough.
Another major drawback of the film is that it lacks in the emotional quotient. There are almost nil heart-warming moments in the drama. Had there been scenes in which Shruti and Bittoo made sacrifices for one another to establish their partnership business, their split and separation would’ve worked far better. But because there are no sentimental moments in the pre-interval part, even the breakup doesn’t draw tears from the audience’s eyes.
Bittoo blaming Shruti for the breakup looks like a lie if only because the audience does not under- stand clearly what’s going on in his mind soon after their love-making scene. All in all, Habib Faisal’s screenplay and debut-making director Maneesh Sharma’s narration are found lacking in some respects.
Ranveer Singh makes a confident debut. He acts with flourish and has an endearing quality about him although he doesn’t have the traditional handsome looks of a hero. Anushka Sharma is natural to the core and impresses with her acting. Neeraj Sood is good as Maqsood but his character should have been given more significance. Manmeet Singh Sahni is wasted. Manish Chaudhry does a good job. Vinod Verma makes his presence felt in the role of Shruti’s father. As her mother, Nirupama Verma is okay. Manu Rishi Chaddha is good. Others pass muster.
Maneesh Sharma’s narration of the light and entertaining scenes is good but he has not been able to add that touch of emotions so necessary in a love story. Also, complete clarity of thought in the narration is missing. Salim-Sulaiman’s music is a plus point. ‘Ainvayi ainvayi’, ‘Tarkeebein’ and the title song are entertaining and have been aptly picturised by Vaibhavi Merchant. The other songs are also appealing. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are nice. Aseem Mishra’s camerawork is very good. Namrata Rao’s editing and other technical values are upto the mark.
On the whole, Band Baaja Baaraat has a promising first half but the post-interval portion doesn’t live up to it. With the poor start it has taken, it cannot hope to succeed at the box-office.