Star cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Adah Sharma
Director: Vinil Mathew
What’s Good: It is a zappy rom-com which flaunts the perfectly casted Parineeti and Sidharth’s lively, heartfelt chemistry with confidence.
What’s Bad: An overdrawn climax, the unbelievable China connect and the flimsy backstory that trails along with Meeta.
Loo break: Some but entirely avoidable if you hold on patiently.
Watch or Not?: The film is both pleasantly surprising and utterly baffling in equal amounts. Though Vinil Mathew’s direction might not be perfect due to his lack of experience, Hasee Toh Phasee will definitely win your heart for the symbiotically arranged, pitch perfect chemistry of Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra. It was passionate and compelling, almost to make me wish that they were a real life couple and that alone becomes the winning shot. Though Parineeti walks away with the thunder for her stellar performance, the film works primarily and mostly because it is so refreshingly lovable.
The film begins with two outcast kids who are similar to each other as miscreants and yet excitingly different. Obviously the film traces how they fall in love.
Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) belongs to a typical conservative Gujarati family which cannot digest her free spirited nature. Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) is the son of an IPS officer who is about to marry Karishma (Adah Sharma) when luck has him cross paths with Meeta who is exactly like him. Meeta and Nikhil share a close bonding over 7 days when simultaneously the primary things in their lives change which eventually lead them to fall in love with each other.
But can Nikhil walk out on his ideology of love and walk off with Meeta after 7 years of commitment with her sister Karishma? Watch Hasee Toh Phasee and know how the fairy tale happens for two extremely eerie people.
Hasee Toh Phasee Review: Script Analysis
Thankfully the movie wasn’t much of a knock off contrary to what you’ll expect from usual romantic comedies. Though you can find inklings of the formulaic ideas typical to the genre, the story is unusual. It is unexpected that in times when the industry is infested with clone-ish designs, there is a film that sticks strictly to the most commonplace genre and tries creatively something new with it. The persistent question is does Hasee Toh Phasee succeed? Well the answer is both yes and no!
The film does succeed on many levels. It is kept simple minus too many nuances. The protagonists meet by chance, fall in love involuntary and make the inevitable, eventual and the predictable choice of running back into each other’s arms. It is no Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu which had epitomized the hope of changing the climax of a regular rom-com film. But the scriptwriters have etched out very similar yet varying lead characters. Both Nikhil and Meeta are shown to be pariahs of sorts which is fun to watch when the story sheds its envelopes with time.
Meeta is wacky, awkward, naive, amateur, drug addict but adorably child like in her ways. Nikhil is a loyal man, sorted out yet confused, running after his lady love persistently and is heavily insecure in the relationship. I like the depth Sidharth gives to Nikhil, that even after 7 years of being in a relationship he doesn’t have the confidence that if he breaks up with his fiance, she will come after him. The simplicity of the film is in its writing. Meeta is pristine and inspiring. I love the scene where she looks at Nikhil in his eyes and says “Main lifetime ki guarantee deti hoon, mujhse shaadi kar lo.” He is her sister’s fiance and very visibly the love of her life. Quite a commendable portrait painted here!
On the flip side, there are many blatant problems in the story. It narrates how Meeta has fled from home after her father refused to fund her IIT project, on the day of her sister’s wedding. All said and done, I disagree on buying this on moral grounds. The film’s China connect is very half baked and unbelievable. Meeta’s addiction issues that form a major part of the story has very little sense to it.
It would be hard to buy this story but the scriptwriters have to their credit a great cast and a good director who more or less manage to keep you glued in it even in its dull moments. It is creditable that even after so many pitfalls, the story is structured such that it is more on the better side of the scale instead of slipping on the downside.
Hasee Toh Phasee Review: Star Performances
Parineeti Chopra has often been accused to being repetitive in her roles. I say we are too quick to judge the actress. She is nothing like her previous roles in this film and rather picks up a part quite eerie and contrary to what any mainstream actress would have chosen. She manages to gain empathy for her character and yet love heaves over pity in her case. From her smitten look filled with genuine longing for Sidharth to the funny faces she makes when intoxicated, the actress is indeed the show stealer. In the last scene where she breaks down as all her pain finally donned on her, she silences the blabbering and criticisms unanimously.
Sidharth Malhotra is way more than just a gorgeous face. Way back in SOTY I realized this guy has thunderous caliber and he proves it here. In every bit Malhotra matches up to Parineeti’s terrific work with equal gusto. He is gregarious but restrained and there is a serene calmness in his performance which makes him a smashing hit. To compliment Parineeti’s boisterousness is quite a challenge and so far he is the co-star she is best suited with.
Every rom-com thrives on its chemistry and theirs is to sum up in the words of the film like water – composed of double hydrogen and single oxygen, hinging well fitted-ly like pieces that are destined to work magic together.
Manoj Joshi and Sharat Saxena are brilliant despite minimal screen space. The supporting cast especially the cool daddies of Nikhil and Meeta do a fantastic job.
A special mention for Sidharth’s cousin who was bowled over by Parineeti. The actor does it with poised ease and is mindblowing.
Hasee Toh Phasee Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Vinil Mathew still has a long way to go in filmmaking but the man makes an impressionable debut with this film. He might have made a few objectionable errors but it was essentially a good effort on his part. Debutants don’t manage to dish out such a gripping tale in their first stint but despite faltering multiple times, Mathew manages keep the work convincingly great.
There is this funny scene with references to CID and Daya, Pradyuman which is just hilarious. The humor is level headed and remains grounded without getting over the top. However, the climax is heartbreaking and heart-wrenching. I love the humor, the romance, the depth, the intensity and how wonderfully it has all been imbibed in the same flow by Mathew.
Vishal-Shekhar’s music deserves a notable mention especially for songs like Ishq Bulava and Zehenaseeb that gives the weak moments some lucidity.
Hasee Toh Phasee Review: The Last Word
Boy meets girl is often the most overused, mainstream, rom-com idea but Vinil Mathew’s treatment makes Hasee Toh Phasee flourish as a winner. I was disappointed with many parts but overall the film stayed with me longer than I expected it to. Sidharth’s subtle charm and Parineeti’s crackling yet astonishingly stunning performance are the biggest attributes why the film had me engaged till the lights went off. I am going with a 3/5 and a big thumbs up. Fresh thought is always fabulous!
Hasee Toh Phasee Trailer
Hasee Toh Phasee releases on 7th February, 2014.
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